MLB.com columnist, Richard Justice, wrote a piece yesterday discussing the possibility of Cole Hamels being traded to the Cardinals.
“They’re one of the few clubs with enough coveted prospects to get Phillies senior vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to pull the trigger on this trade,” Justice wrote.
He’s right, in fact. The Cardinals have the talented prospects that the Phillies would be seeking in a deal involving their best player.
Two prospects in particular that the Phillies could acquire are right-fielder Stephen Piscotty, and LHP Marco Gonzales.
Last year, Piscotty batted .288, with nine HRs and 69 RBIs while also posting an OBP of .355. In his minor-league career, Piscotty has hit for an average of .292 with 28 HRs, and 155 RBIs in 303 games and 1137 at-bats.
With the Phillies’ outfield loaded with question marks, a prospect like Piscotty would be welcomed into the farm system with open arms, and could be the future answer to a position the Phillies have struggled to find a long-term option for since the departure of Jayson Werth.
Gonzales made his major-league debut with the Cardinals in June of last season, and he struggled initially. However, he showed improvement down the stretch for the Cardinals, as he became a useful lefty out of the bullpen with left-handed batters hitting only .143 against him. He finished the 2014 season with a 4.15 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched. Gonzales also went 2-1 in the playoffs for the Cardinals, pitching 5.1 shutout innings before giving up three runs to the Giants in the NLCS.
The Phillies have already made moves for young pitchers this offseason, so a guy like Gonzales would continue the trend of stocking up on young arms. However, the Phillies need some young bats as well. The young hitters they currently have on their roster, such as Dominic Brown, Cody Asche, and Cesar Hernandez, are all unknowns in regards to what they will become. This is what makes a player like Piscotty so valuable. Add players like Maikel Franco and the looming J.P. Crawford into the equation, and there’s reason to be optimistic about the future.
This season will be a make-or-break season for Dominic Brown. By now, the Phillies were hoping that he would be a stud corner outfielder. That hasn’t been the case so far. It’s imperative that he gets on the right track offensively this season. If he can do that, and the Phillies acquire Piscotty, then you could be looking at two long-term corner outfielders.
If the Phillies decide to deal Hamels, the Cardinals look like the perfect fit. The acquisition of Hamels would make the Cards early World Series favorites, and the Phillies could get back the talent they desperately need in return.