Even In Win-Now Mode, Phils Should Still Sell

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

Phils should consider moving Ruiz, even if they want to win next season. (Photo: AP)

On Wednesday, The Good Phight published a spirited piece regarding the Phillies and the upcoming trade deadline. In it, Joe Catz argues that right now fans should stop being so concerned with what the future holds for the franchise if it is precluding you from enjoying day-to-day success. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do.

Essentially, his argument boils down to the fact that, right or wrong, the Phillies are not going to have a major overhaul of their roster via a late July fire sale. The reason being an ownership group that won’t allow a full-on rebuild. They’re constantly in win-now mode, and that means tearing it down just isn’t an option.

I’d like to go on record and say I agree 100% with Catz. As a fan, you should never stop yourself from enjoying a team’s success on a given night because you’re worried it may affect an impending rebuild. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and when you can’t even allow yourself the joy of your favorite team’s successes, what’s even the point anymore?

But there is something about his prediction that this team absolutely won’t sell that I find troublesome: Even if they’re constantly in win-now mode, selling may be the best course of action not only for down the line, but for next season. To Catz’s credit, he says himself that he’s not arguing that selling is the wrong move. Simply that it won’t happen.

Let’s assume he’s right, and they aren’t going to sell off all their assets. Where does that leave this team next season? Even if they make the playoffs–and that’s a big if–chances are they won’t be winning the World Series. That’s a cold, hard truth, and it would mean another season of failure from this core group of players. At that point, the Phils can either bring back the big names whose contracts are expiring–Utley, Chooch, and possibly even Michael Young–or they can let them all walk, replenishing the holes via free agency or with farmhands.

The former leaves them with the same group of players, only they’re one year older. The latter leaves them to choose from a free agent crop that includes a fair amount of 30 year olds looking for one final sizeable contract, or turning to youth, where they have very few position players that look like they’ll be ready next season. Maybe Maikel Franco is, but going from Single-A to the Big Leagues in a calendar year is very rare, so it seems unlikely.

A lineup full of not quite ready first-year players isn’t becoming of a team that’s in win-now mode. Restocking entirely through free agency straps the organization for cash for another few years.

If the Phillies want to win next season, they should explore trading away some of their assets. Players like Ruiz and Young likely won’t be back next season anyway, and Utley is a question mark. If you play your cards right, you may get back some guys who can help out next season (Like Nate Schierholtz last season, only you don’t make the mistake of letting him walk for nothing). At the very least, you’re putting yourself in a position where you can begin to formulate a core of young talent to build upon. With the money coming off the books, you have the luxury of signing one or two solid free agents, but not having to break the bank.

That future looks much brighter to me.

As for the pitchers who have been rumored to be on the block, Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon, Ruben Amaro should listen to offers for both, but not necessarily pull the trigger. In the instance of Lee, if you want to win next season, you shouldn’t trade him unless you’re blown away by an offer. He pitches above the value of his contract and has shown no signs of wear and tear. His low-effort delivery is conducive to, as Sarge would say, continued success. As for Papelbon, it makes sense to be more open to dealing him and unloading the exorbitant salary for a position that can be replaced, especially if a team like Detroit gets desperate.

If the Phils truly are in constant win-now mode, they should consider selling some of their veterans. It’s time to look towards moving on from a group of players that aren’t long for this team anyway, as difficult as it will be to watch them go.



  1. Pamikedc

    July 12, 2013 at 9:45 am


  2. Bill

    July 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    The writer of this article should be fired immediately. He shows that he’s a frontrunner and delusional fan. BUY NOT SELL. AT LEAST STAND PAT, BUT NOTTTTTTT SELL. I bet this dude is gonna cry on July 31 when Rube is buying.

    • Ryan Dinger

      July 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

      “I’d like to go on record and say I agree 100% with Catz. As a fan, you should never stop yourself from enjoying a team’s success on a given night because you’re worried it may affect an impending rebuild. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and when you can’t even allow yourself the joy of your favorite team’s successes, what’s even the point anymore?”

      I can promise you I’ll enjoy the success if they play well enough over the next three weeks to become buyers. I truly believe what I wrote in the above quote. But, keeping in mind that they’ve been inconsistent all year and have struggled against bad teams, let’s see if they can keep winning against the likes of the White Sox before we declare them no-doubt-about-it World Series contenders.

      • Joanne Fox

        July 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

        I’d like to go on the record and tell you that Carlos is one of the best catchers in the entire league. There is maybe one from the Cardinals that is a little sharper. I think they should get rid of Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins if you want to keep it real. Neither one of them has done a damn thing noteworthy all season and it’s July. That would trim some fat off the top! They should also consider getting rid of Charlie Manuel because apparently the team thinks they can walk all over him and they have, especially those two that I mentioned that think they are princes on the team and don’t have to put up any effort from game to game.

  3. Chuck A.

    July 12, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Again…I’ll ask it again… if Carlos Ruiz is traded just who is gonna catch next season and possibly 2015? Just his work behind the plate alone is reason enough to bring him back on a cheap 1-2 year deal.

    • Cole

      July 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Nobody but Tommy Joseph and he needs to get his behind to the majors so he can start learning from Mr. Chooch, I don’t think theres another prospect in our farm system than we need more to step up soon, prove the Pence deal was worth it.

      • Chuck A.

        July 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

        Exactly. So if Joseph is the starting catcher of the future (2015 and beyond) wouldn’t it make sense to keep Chooch here to mentor him? Chooch could start next year and if Joseph is ready to assume more of a starting role in ’15 then Ruiz is the backup.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 12, 2013 at 11:32 am

        Agree with you Chuck… keep Ruiz bring him back for 1-2 years to teach Joseph and or valle.. maybe keep Ruiz past that as a backup as well…

    • Lefty

      July 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I totally agree Chuck. The only other real option would be to try to sign McCann in FA, but that would cost a bundle and a half.

    • TID

      July 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Can I ask what “cheap deal”?

      He makes 5M this year, and that’s base on money BEFORE his offsensive production last year – ie his “usual” defensive and offensive numbers, before adderall.

      So he’s going to make around that, or – most likely – more. And Chooch is certainly not worth more than that nor should he be paid more than that. But he will be. And the Phils certainly DO NOT need to do that.

      Why do I want a 35 year-old catcher next year? On a “cheap deal”? Sure. But that’s not happening and I think that you’re missing.

      Catchers are valuable only when they’re cheap. And Chooch is no longer cheap.

      • Floyd

        July 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        ??? Catcher is the most important defensive position on a baseball team. I don’t mind overpaying to be sure that you are solid at that position. Last 5 WS catchers … Ruiz, Posada, Posey, Molina, Posey.

    • Brian

      July 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      I think Kratz could be an adequate starter for next year. Back him up with Rupp and it, while not ideal, wouldn’t hurt you either.

      And why do you assume that he a) wants to come back and b) will be cheap? As far as I can see, McCann, Salty and Chooch are the only viable C’s in FA next year.

      • TID

        July 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        Exactly. Thank you.

    • Ryne Duren

      July 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

      I agree 100% chuck! They can offer Carlos a 1 0r 2 year contract or a 1 with a mutual option. either way we need a quality catcher till someone on the farm is ready. my guess would be Cameron Rupp. He was just moved up to reading and is a good defensive catcher who hits pretty good. He’s hit good at every level. Joseph’s been hurt, Valle’s not that good defensively and doesn’t hit. So what do you do? sign chooch! Kratz comes back and we have 2 fine catchers who can hit.

  4. joecatz

    July 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

    2/2: To me, the assets are Papelbon, Lee and Utley, and you can make a case that each of them have as much, or more value to the team in 2014 than any trade return you get. I personally disagree with that only on Papelbon, who IMO is showing huge regression signs, and likely is at the high point of return on value.

    That said, Michael Young will be traded, IMO by the deadline. I think the retrun back will be different based on where they are, in regards to prospects or bullpen help. And frankly Ruiz is playing bad right now. I just don’t believe you’ll see him get anything close to what youd expect back unless hes part of a package, and none of the catchers are ready next year, but really good analysis here.

  5. Lefty

    July 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Ryan great piece. I disagree with only one sentence-

    “Even if they make the playoffs–and that’s a big if–chances are they won’t be winning the World Series.”

    The baseball playoffs are a crapshoot, if you can get in, you have a decent chance. We’ve seen two flawed teams win the last three years. The Giants and Cardinals were no one’s favorites going into the seasons they won.

    Otherwise I’m with you. Sell some of the veterans. Don’t blow it up necessarily , but start the process of looking toward the future.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

      The playoffs are like the lottery.. gotta be in it to win it… lol

      • Ryan Dinger

        July 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm

        You guys are right in that the playoffs most definitely are a crapshoot. I think my point was more that I don’t believe the team will be able to even get in. If they do, a hot streak could certainly win it. Won’t disagree there.

    • Brian

      July 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      There’s nothing inherently wrong with that sentence. Even if they were a good team, chances are they wouldn’t win it, since their chances would be roughly 1/8 (same as every other team that got past the WC play in).

      I think you have problems with what’s implied; that, since the Phillies would be one of the worst playoff teams, they have less of a chance than everyone else to win the WC. I’m not so sure that’s what the author meant to imply or not.

      • Lefty

        July 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        I think the author already made his point clear, which was that he didn’t believe the team would even get in. He did it right above your comment about 48 minutes before you did, but thanks anyway.

    • loupossehl

      July 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      The playoffs are indeed a lottery – much more so for MLB than with any other pro sport. It has to be – otherwise, the Yankees would win, say, 12 of 15 WS. The lottery aspect is compounded by the folly of “home field advantage” being determined by the outcome of a single exhibition game. This ensures the sought-after end result of skill and superiority being frequently overridden by luck and mediocrity.

      The brief playoff lottery is preceded by a protracted, 162-game qualifiying round played from April to October. Baseball should be a daytime, “boys of summer” sport. Instead, the playoff qualifiers may well find themselves playing at night in weather more attuned to football, with its chilly, huddled fans and with exhalations of fans and players alike all but frozen in mid-air. This is kinda like playing the PGA championship in a monsoon and it’s in this inappropriate environment that baseball’s lottery contestants vie for the oft-errant claim that “we are the champions” (with apologies to Queen).

      Which takes us, in whatever roundabout way, to the Phillies and the statement, “Even if they make the playoffs … chances are they won’t be winning the WS” Au contraire, mes amis – any team that makes it to that final round with a rotation of Hamels, Lee, Kendrick … and the possibility, however longshot, of adding the name “Halladay” to that mix, has a darn good chance. So much will depend, team-wise, on who’s hot and who’s not – and player-wise (“is Papelbon on or off?”) come October. But given the hill that the Phillies have to climb to get there, chances are that if they do, they’ll be in the “hot” category.

      If we get there, we can win it.

  6. Hogey's Role

    July 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I don’t trade cliff Lee.. not this year… I don’t want to trade papelbon either but if we send money with him and get back rondon and either Garcia or castellanos than I’d be inclined to take that if we’re deemed out of it and the end of the month…

  7. joecatz

    July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am


    Well put. Honestly, Well Put. I’m actually in agreement with the majority of what you’ve written here personally.

    The piece I wrote the other day was really more in tune with the organizations overall philosophy, which is, right or wrong, to put a competitive team on the field every year.

    in that sense, you won’t see them sell off if they’re in contention at the deadline. Where I have a slight issue is in your use of the term “assets” (1/2)

  8. Bill

    July 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Ryan oughta listen to Joecatz. He’s one of the few non delusional Phillies blog writers I’ve seen so far. He speaks the truth and explains the philosophy of the organization, unlike the delusional Ryan, who still insists the team is selling, when it’s been clear since Day 1, THEY’RE NOT. But can you expect anything less from a guy who plays the role of Phillies GM on Twitter? That’s why I’ve unfollowed him, he’s just pretty bad at this thing called writing.

    • Ryan Dinger

      July 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Bill!

    • joecatz

      July 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Apparently you didn’t read my comments above. Aside from listening on Lee, Ryan is spot on in terms of what the team SHOULD do.

      They SHOULD trade papelbon, and Michael Young.

      They SHOULD listen on Carlos ruiz

      They SHOULD listen on Utley, as much as that pains me to say.

      the first two are the ones that should go regardless, and th others need to be blow away offers. The difference is that the returns and how you deal them should help for today and tomorrow. What this team SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT do is deal valuebale assets for lottery tickets because of the fallacy of prospect fetishing.

      • Bill

        July 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        Stick to your word, Joe. If you want this team to compete for a playoff spot this year, you need both Papelbon and Utley. That’s not even debatable. Don’t adjust your word, just because you don’t want to hurt Ryan’s feelings.

  9. The Original Chuck P

    July 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I have always said that our sole responsibility as fans is to root for our team to win and to expect nothing less from our GM than doing whatever it takes to field a team capable of winning. When we let ourselves believe that we should accept losing and mediocrity because “it’s the best thing for the team,” it’s like letting your employee off the hook for something that he did that didn’t dramatically affect your organization. Eventually, if you let that stuff slide, the employee develop bad habits are and what seemed harmless (no one wants to make their employee feel bad), could turn into a nightmare.

    We can’t let ownership believe that it’s ok to skimp out on team needs… if we don’t have enough, we need to let the ownership know that we feel that they need to do more. We have had a great run but continued success is not a reason to say that, “Well, it had to end sometime.” Maybe it doesn’t work out this year and maybe there are some expiring contracts/players that we know won’t be able to help us next year that we want to trade for farm hands but we as fans should be screaming for them to find ways to keep the window open NOT acting like it’s ok if it does.

    We have some good pieces and we have some not-so-good pieces. If it doesn’t work out this year, we trade the pieces that we know need to be upgraded (expiring contracts and those pieces that don’t necessarily fit) and build around what we’ve got coming back…

    What we’ve got coming back – two legitimate aces, a premier closer, a budding young outfielder, a serviceable center fielder, a dependable shortstop and some other helpful pieces that can fit in our bullpen, on our bench and in the back end of our rotation… that’s not immaterial.

    I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t know what our needs will be or how to fill them but my point is that I honestly don’t care how much ownership makes and what they think their budget should be… if I feel like we need a first baseman, I want them to go out and get the best first baseman available every time. I understand that’s not always doable and budgets are necessary, to some degree, so I’ll applaud them for moves that make sense in light of that but I’m not going to sit here and say that I’d rather have Michael Young than Adrian Beltre just because Michael Young is cheaper… I want the players that give us the best opportunity to win every time. Buy smart… subtract smart… if you trade Lee or Papelbon, you’re going to have to find someone to close games and start behind Cole. Unless you can show me a better option, don’t even entertain the thought of trading those guys away.

  10. bacardipr

    July 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I think any buy/sell theories should be put off until after this upcoming series. Its been up and down this whole year. The same as the buy/sell rants. If they win one or two games its buy. Then when they turn around an lose one game its sell. I think Frandsden has proven himself to be a MLB player i wouldnt be opposed to trading Young. Sure there is a risk of Frandsden turning back into the proverbial pumpkin but i think i like the chances. The thing with trading Young you probably wont get much back in return. Is it even worth trading him at this point?

    • hk

      July 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      I agree. The blogosphere is overrun with buy or sell articles and we are still 19 days and 14 games from the trade deadline. The Phils have a chance to gain ground on two of the three teams ahead of them this weekend because the weak White Sox are in town (without Chris Sale, who pitched yesterday) and the Braves and Reds are playing each other. If the Phils sweep the pale hose, they will gain 3 gains in some combination on Atlanta and Cincy. After the break, they go on the road for 9 games at the Mets, Cardinals and Tigers. After the Detroit series, they will have played 105 games and will still have 3 days until the trade deadline. I’m sure – or at least I hope – that RAJ is doing his due diligence to be prepared to buy, sell or hold depending upon where they stand after Detroit, but it would be foolish to make a decision with 69 games left that does not have to be made until there are only 55 games left.

  11. mark

    July 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I could not agree more with the writer. Amaro not trading players and replacing the older ones has been his fault since 08 and that is why we sit where we do right now. Any good GM is always trading and wheeeling and dealing to continue to improve his team. If you look at Amaro’s whole tenure with the phils…he is good at making the obvious signings/trades, but he can’t ever pick up a steal or a guy under the radar…remember when Gillick was here he was the one that snagged Werth and Victorino. I always go back to 09 when at that point our players were in high demand. That year he could have traded an Utley, Rollins, Howard or Ruiz and got a boatload of talent. You need to look at the entire picture and project for three to four years down the road. Because Amaro did all the obvious stuff and didnt want to take some chances we are now stuck with big azz contracts

    This writer wrote a good article…thanks

    • George

      July 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      Back in 2008, and even in 2009, the Phils really didn’t have any core players who were “older” so you should revise that statement about Amaro.

    • George

      July 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      That part stating Amaro “can’t ever pick up a steal or a guy under the radar” is also innaccurate. Some names to consider: Mayberry, who was brought over for a guy who’s since been released; Horst, who was lights out last year, and was obtained for a utility infielder; Lannan, who was a non-tender; Frandsen, a minor league signing.

      Amaro has made some mistakes, but so did Gillick. Remember Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd for Freddy Gonzalez, and 3 years/$21 million for Adam Eaton? And the outfielder Werth replaced, who was paid something like $11 million to not play in 2009?

      I also don’t think Gillick would have traded an Utley or a Rollins in 2009. That would have been 3 years too soon, in violation of that overquoted Branch Rickey “axiom.”and in 2009, Ruiz was not considered a great option because he had yet to learn how to hit.

      • George

        July 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        Somehow I wrote Freddy Gonzalez when I meant Freddy Garcia.

      • Lefty

        July 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

        Is that a “Freddyian Slip” ?

  12. George

    July 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I have a complaint here: I find it rather presumptuous of anybody to automatically assume that the Phils are going to hang onto their big chips if they happen to still be in contention by month’s end. Did anyone really expect them to sign Cliff Lee away from his other suitors, or to wait out Rollins’ contract demands, or to let Madson walk? Amaro himself has called the current situation “fluid;” that alone should indicate “unpredictable.”

    I’m also with bacardipr: theories should be put off until later. I don’t care if others debate, but I find it premature to speculate myself, and basing my speculation on possibly wrong assumptions about front office behavior.

    • Ken Bland

      July 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      “or to let Madson walk?”

      If you think the overanalysis now is ridiculous, wait until the trades actually occur, and everyone will be in a rush to pass judgement before players arrive in their new cities.

      I mean, that isn’t exactly criminal, and it certainly fits the human nature bill, but I lifted the Madson quote for a reason. As I remember, he and Raul left as free agents at the same time. Raul keeps getting better, and Ryan is threatening to totally kill the trend of TJ surgery resulting in quicker returns all the time. So no matter who offers what opinions on potential deals, the only conclusion that should be had is coincidence may or may not validate their guesses. There are exceptions but some guys wind up thriving on right time, right place for immeasurable reasons.

      Another post of philosophical rhetoric in the bog books.

      • George

        July 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        You missed my point. I wasn’t saying anything about the pros or cons of Madson or the crazy results of transactions. I was only saying that no one expected Amaro to let Madson walk, and Amaro did. I think that more than illustrates my comment about the presumptious nature of anyone who claims they know the front office will or will not do a particular thing. Picking the Madson comment out as an example of transaction crapshoots is your own invention, and is based on a rather a specious connection.

  13. Keith

    July 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Some people in the national media think the Phils should also look at trading Rollins. I would like to hear what the author here and other fans think. My take is if the Phils can get value for Rollins, I would do it. Galvis is ready defensively to play every day, and I don’t think there would be that much drop off offensively either.

    • Ken Bland

      July 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      I don’t mean to complicate your question, but it’s putting the cart before the horse to discuss should he be traded. The question is should he be shopped.

      The answer is an indisputable yes.

      But you yourself said if you can get value for him, they should move him. What is value? Would you take 2 mid level prospects? Or because he’s got a year left plus an option year and not showing a real decline, (like an off year) hold out for a half decent releiver as well. The point is, this time of year isn’t really about buying and selling, it’s about liquidity. Only the top and bottom teams should really be strict buyers and sellers. But in no way shape or form is the Phils situation such that Jimmy shouldn’t be shopped. Personally, I don’t think he’d say don’t bother because I’ve got that 10 and 5 clause. He might use it to his advantage. I don’t see that whole plot evolving to a deal, but it’s crazy to think of him as untouchable. Especially since Galvis isn’t can’t miss material that you can’t wait to make room for like a Manny Machado. But should Jimmy finish his contract here? For now, I’d say PROBABLY not.

    • brooks

      July 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

      As good as Galvis is defensively, he is not better than Jimmy and, as poorly as a lot of us think Jimmy is doing at the plate, he is actually doing what Jimmy has primarily done throughout his career – .260 to .265 batting average but not as much power this year. Which, is better than Galvis has ever done.

      Look, I dont know the answers either but, shedding Chooch right now would melt all the cool-aid drinkers hopes. We have absolutely nothing to replace Choochie defensively or offensively (with or without the power).

      Shedding Paps at this time – what do we have to replace him?
      Getting rid of M. Young – Galvis, Frandsen?

      Nobody in their right minds would touch the Howard contract – Chase is Chase – absolutely one of the best, regardless if he plays 130 games..

      I dont know what the answer is – moveable parts right now are probably only the pitching, Pettibone, Savery?

      • Hogey's Role

        July 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

        I agree on all points Brooks

  14. John

    July 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    SELL SELL SELL THIS TEAM NEEDS TO REBUILD NOW we have a huge tv deal coming so money is coming, Chooch is no good to us right now Howard.. well howard is howard which means over paid underachiever Utley is still remarkable but i say deal him for prospects its time to claim our division back abd we wont do it with old ass players who cant hit

    • hk

      July 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm


      Howard is untradeable. It is fine to suggest that they trade Chooch and Utley, but blanket statements like that don’t make sense unless you know what teams will offer for them. Also, who do you want to play C and 2B next year?

    • G7

      July 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Won’t do it with just prospects either..have to have a mix..

  15. bacardipr

    July 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I wonder what Rollins will fetch. He hasnt been to spectacular offensively at the moment.

  16. George

    July 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Heck, if you’re moving your ML shortstop when the probable replacement still can’t hit, and you’re trading away a proven second baseman, your closer, your best starting pitcher, your only proven catcher, and maybe a few others, why not just change the team’s name to the Philadelphia Marlins?

    • Double Trouble Del

      July 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      George, couldn’t agree with you more. There is no guarantee that prospects will equal future success. The Mets tried to build around David Wright and failed. The Marlins have had years of solid prospect acquisitions..Hanley Ramierez, Josh Johnson et al but they haven’t tasted success either. This town could be looking at a very long draught after the departure of Rollins, Utley, Ruiz, Papelbon and Lee.

    • Brian

      July 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Because the Phillies would be trying to better themselves for the future, whereas the Marlins just slash all payroll so they can profit from revenue sharing.

  17. DavidE

    July 13, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Is Ruiz the Phillies best option at catcher? He has 3 extra-base hits for the year. I am fine with trading him but what is somebody going to give for him. For the Phillies, their interest would be for the team to take his salary for the remainder of the year. They are not going to get a good prospect for him. It will be interesting when Kratz comes back who the starting catcher is. It might be Eric Kratz.

    I can see trading Michael Young. He is a decent enough hitter and has been getting extra-base hits lately. But he is not a good defensive option at 3rd base. While he has only been charged with 7 errors, he could have been charged with several more in the past few weeks. if you bring up Galvis to play 3rd base, the defense immediately gets better. Or you could use Frandsen at 3rd base and his defense would probably be an improvement over Michael Young’s defense there.

  18. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Utley – Shop him around. Looking back at the mets trading Carlos Beltran to the Giants in 2011 is comparable to what RAJ should look for in return for Utley. They were/are at similar points in their careers along with similar numbers. The Mets got Zack Wheeler who was the 55th best prospect in baseball at the time. The Phillies should shoot a little higher due to Utley’s remaining salary is about 2-3m lower then what Beltrans was.

  19. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Papelbon – Shop him around. The St. Louis Cardinals traded Zack Cox (62nd ranked prospect in MLB) for Edward Muijca who wasn’t a closer, shows what a good bullpen arm can get when it’s in demand. With Papelbon, I would go to The tigers and start off asking for Nick Castellanos (21st), Avisail Garcia (74th) and Bruce Rendon (95th) . . . Is that a lot to ask for? Absolutely and the Tigers would more then likely say no however, this is where I would come back with one of two things. 1. I’d offer to pay for a % of Papelbons remaining contract. This would be affordable due to the fact that Castellanos, Garcia and Rendon won’t have high salaries for a few years. Or 2. I would throw Ruiz in the deal, the Tigers catching is their weakest position with Avila I believe hitting under .200. This deal would give you a 3B next year (and the future) in Castellanos (I’d move him back to 3B and if Utley is traded I’d move Ashe back to his natural position at 2B), a RF in Garcia (move Brown back to LF, Garcia’s arm plays better then Browns does in RF) and your closer for this year and future in Rendon (he’s been lights out in AAA and routinely touches 100MPH)

    • Lefty

      July 13, 2013 at 7:47 am

      If the Tigers have a 6 year cost controlled “lights out” reliever in AAA in Rendon that routinely touches 100MPH, why in the world would they need to give up all those prospects to invest in a costly long term contract like Papelbon’s?

      Not kidding, please help me understand.

      • George

        July 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

        Lefty, teams do some mighty strange things when they’re in “win it all now!” mode. Rendon won’t help the Tigers this season, so they might actually be stupid enough to take on Papelbon. The Giants got a half-season from Beltran for Wheeler; Pence cost the Phils several top tier prospects (one of whom had a no-hitter going last night), and there have probably been a few hundred similar trades made through the years.

        GMs should probably be put in restraints at the trade deadline, but then we fans wouldn’t get a whole lot of laughter out of their shenanigans.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

        Because rondon has been getting lit up at the majors this year, he’s not ready to make the jump yet it looks like… and tigers are in win now mode…

      • Hogey's Role

        July 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

        This is the same trade scenario I mentioned earlier in this post for papelbon… so I agree Eric d

      • Lefty

        July 13, 2013 at 11:56 am

        Hogey, please see my response to Eric D below.

      • Lefty

        July 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        George, I think it would be funnier to actually see them all in restraints at the deadline.

      • George

        July 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        The humor factor would depend on the type of restraints they were placed in. Straight jacket–maybe not as funny as some of the trades. Tied up half naked in leather and chains with a dominatrix standing ready with a vicious looking whip–now that would be a roll-on-the-floor kind of thing, definitely more humorous than watching a can’t-miss prospect traded for a has-been having his final hitting streak.

      • Joecatz

        July 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Because John Heyman said so, that’s why.

        What I find hilarious about the papelbon rumors are that the to teams linked to him over and over again are the Red Sox, who’s analytical department wouldn’t touch his velocity decline and k rate regression with a ten foot pole for the return the phillies would want, and the tigers, who could have signed Rafael soriano to a similar deal in the off season and completely shied away because they don’t believe, as an organization, that closers are worth that kind of money.

  20. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Cliff Lee – Shop him around. With Lee there are only a handful (if that) of teams who would even be able to afford to trade for him. I’d narrow them down to the Dodgers, Yankees and Orioles . . .

    Lets look at some comparable trades . . Heck Lee has been traded enough himself so let’s look at those first to see what RAJ.s asking price should be.

    2009 – Lee (and Ben Fransisco) for Carrasco (52nd), Jason Knapp (64th), Jason Donald (69th) and Lou Marson (66th). Lee was also only making 6m for the year which came to 3m for the Phillies to take on plus the following year of 9m.

    2009 Offseason – Lee for Tyson Gillies (NR), JC Ramirez (NR) and Phillippe Aumont (93rd). Not that any of the players the Phillies traded for Lee ever amounted to anything but it shows how much they gave for him and how little they got in return. I still feel the ONLY reason why they traded him so quickly (after they traded for Halladay) was because it would have been a PR nightmare for the Phillies to have Halladay/Lee/Hamels and then trade Lee say a week later. Although they would have certainly got more value for him they also would have had time where the fans could imagine a rotation of those 3 only to have him traded away.

    2010 – Lee (with Mark Lowe and Cash) for 3 unbanked prospects and the 13th ranked prospect in the MLB in Justin Smoak.

    Now back to the teams who could afford and want/need Lee’s services . . .

    Dodgers – it begins and ends with Zack Lee who is their top pitching prospect however is only ranked as the 62nd best prospect in baseball (to give you an idea, Our own Jessie Biddle is ranked higher then him at 61st). Since Lee isn’t exactly a top prospect RAJ would certainly need more in return (a Zack Lee for Utley would be fine) adding in a Chris Reed or Onelki Garcia along with another prospect that ranks toward the back of their top 20 (in their org.) would sound about right.

    Orioles – you would like to ask for Dylan Bundy however that would make no sense for the O’s to move him nor would they. Kevin Gausman (26th) would be the guy I would target after him I have to be honest, I don’t know much about the O’s farm system. I would imagine it would take another top 20 or 2 prospects to make the deal happen.

    Yankees – This would be a 3 player deal for me with the main piece being catching propsect Gary Sanchez (57th). I realize that the Phillies have several catching prospects in Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp, Sabastian Valle and recently drafted Jason Knapp (who I think is the best out of the bunch, if he sticks at C) but I don’t think they are (besides Knapp) more then back ups or AAAA players. I’d throw Valle in the deal as well. I’d also target Mason Williams (32nd) and Ty Hensley (NR).

    • Joecatz

      July 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      If Ruben made either of those three trades for cliff lee he should be fired. It’s starts and ends with a top 15 midsession prospect, and if the team doesn’t have tht they better be willing to ship off young controlled major league talent.

  21. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Michael Young – Trade. Locate the teams who need (or want his services) which is basically the Yankees and Red Sox. With Young you aren’t going to get much in return, so this is where you look for your middle relief help. With the Red Sox I’m asking for Andrew Miller who has found a home in the bullpen. It may be a reach asking for him however this is the guy they should target with the Red Sox that will help this year and next (not a FA until 2015). If I’m looking for a prospect for him then I’m asking for Drake Britton a 24 yr old LHP, he’s had his rough patches in the minors but has good stuff and stuff that would really play up coming outta the bullpen.

    If I’m shopping him to the Yankees then I’m asking for Shawn Kelley . . Maybe Joba Chamberlain who NY would prob give up in a second for Young (Kelley would fit the bill for now and the future while Joba would be more now then later with this being his walk year) Would much rather have the former rather then the latter and would even rather have a prospect as well. Jose Ramirez, Mark Montgomery and Dellin Betances are all names that would be intriguing.

    • George

      July 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Andrew Miller is on the DL; I doubt he’d be much help now. I don’t think the Sox would trade him for Young, anyway.

      The Phils don’t appear to want Chamberlain due to questions about maturity.

      Your Lee ideas are suspect, too. The O’s can’t afford him, and the Yanks will be seeking hitters right now, if they seek anyone for they’re suspect team. I also think L.A. is done spending like a drunken sailor.

  22. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 5:55 am

    This should have been my first post: The Phillies need to sell or else they are going to basically waste the value they have in Utley and Young. Both will be gone come the end of the year (Utley will be offered a contract so they get compensation for him, if traded they need to get a return that is worth more then a 1st rounder they would get for him) and what’s to say that Utley can’t go somewhere else via trade then maybe come back and sign here in the off season? That’s for the ppl who want Utley here his whole career which to be honest with you I don’t get. I mean I always hear that “Utley is a Phillie and he needs to retire a Phillie” last time I checked the player gets to decide who he retires as and Utley will retire as a Phillie.

    As much as I’d like to see this team make the playoffs, we’ve seen this before. A few weeks back they reeled off a 5 game win streak and then got swept by the Brewers. What makes anyone think that this is sustainable? They would need to go like 42-30 in the second half (or the remainder of their games, not sure which it is) to even be close to a playoff spot . . Could it happen? Yes it could but is it likely? No. I just don’t want RAJ to be fooled into buying or not making moves and then it hurts them for the future. They have a nice little core building with Brown, Revere, Hamels and then Biddle, Ashe (move back to 2B) and Franco . . . (Lee could even be thrown in there, I’m in the middle on moving him . . It would have to bring back a big return. If not keep him and he’s still a 1 for the next few years)

    • Lefty

      July 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

      “Could it happen? Yes it could but is it likely? No.”

      In the last week, the entire Atlanta Braves outfield has been injured to varying degrees, and their super sub Jordan Schaffer is also injured. And his back up Evan Gattis is still not back. That to go along with two or their three prize bullpen pieces being out for the season. There will be no more 12-1 streaks like at the beginning of the season for them. 42-30? I’m not so sure even that is necessary to win this division. I’ll agree it’s not likely, but I think the odds are better than you think.

      Look Eric D, I like new ideas, I like imaginative and well thought out comments, and I commend you sir for that. But you can’t just trade everyone. Once you make it clear you’re “all out” selling, you become the dollar store for people to shop at, you get no value in return.

      To repeat what I stated earlier, I don’t believe they have to “blow it up”. Just get rid of Papelbon before decline becomes too obvious, and maybe another veteran or two, and start to build for the future.

      One thing I think we agree on, although you didn’t specifically mention it, we should not be big time buyers. A scrap heap reliever or two, someone cheap, but no more trading highly rated prospects to try to win now.

      • Chuck A.

        July 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

        If they’re within a few games of the Braves by the end of July I would think there is ZERO chance they move Papelbon. Seriously…and I asked this question before….just who would then close games for a team that’s legitimately in it at that point?

      • brooks

        July 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        Same question that Charlie asked the media the other week, “who in the hell would I put in there?”

  23. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

    The braves losing their whole outfield might actually help them. You are talking about one uptown who wasn’t even hitting .200, Heyward who was hitting under .230 and the other upton who was hitting under .240 since his torrid April.

    And why would the cardinals give up a top prospect for a middle relief pitcher? Because that’s what they needed at the time. Rendon is a work in progress and the Tigers already have said they wouldn’t trust him this year . . . They want to win now and Papelbon might be the guy to help that.

    Again we need to wait and see if this is for real by the phillies have done this all year only to then throw a losing streak to a lowly team.

    • Lefty

      July 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

      My impression from your comment above was that this kid was ready for MLB action right now.

      Your words “and your closer for this year and future in Rendon” probably were the culprit, I take “this year” to mean- this year.

      I don’t study the minors like you apparently do, just don’t have the time, so it’s not my strong point. I freely admit that, and I took your word for it that he was ready now.

      Now you say he is a work in progress, and I’m left to ask, which statement is right?

      • Ryne Duren

        July 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

        Hey Lefty we have a bullpen full of lights out relievers (in the minors) how’s that working out for us. So you’re right to point out that comment (work in progress) and (Ready now). We’ve learned that the ready now’s are all a work in progress. Till they mature and settle in. They all have the stuff or they wouldn’t be here or even be considered to be here. With that said just look at Dom Brown. We were told he was a five tool guy who was gonna be an impact player. Well lucky for us we didn’t unload him. (cause he turned out to be that). that was then and this is now 2/12 yrs later. It’s funny how the kids in our organization all aren’t good enough, yet everybody wants to trade for other orgs. guys who must be great up and comers simply cause they weren’t in our system. Look at Olt he was a hot comotity last year by us and some people are still clamoring for him. yet he’s not having a very good year. can’t miss? They can all miss! ya never know.

      • schmenkman

        July 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        Fyi on Olt, he started the year terribly, and was having vision issues. He eventually went on the DL, and since coming back he’s been doing very well (the last time I looked).

  24. Ryne Duren

    July 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t know what the phils are gonna do regarding buying or selling. The one constant thing they’ve done for about two and a half years now is make my hair (what’s left of it) fall out! Hopefully when it’s all gone they’ll be back on top!

  25. Eric D

    July 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Rending would be a work in progress for the Tigers who are trying to win this year however if the Phillies fall out and are looking for a slight rebuild then Rendon fits the mold of someone who can come up for them this year. Sorry if I confused anyone.

    Those trades for Lee would all net a couple top 50 prospects and another top 100. For someone making the money Lee is making and at the age he is what do you expect in return? 2 top 50s and a top 100 is a good haul for Lee

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