The Phillies are 46-55 – sitting 13.GB of the division and eight out of a wild card spot. With the deadline just four days away, the Phillies should be in sell mode. Through the last week or so, we’ve heard the likes of Jeremy Hellickson and Jeanmar Gomez as likely candidates for a potential deadline deal that would land the Phillies more young players, building on the foundation they’ve established over the last few years.
Most Likely to be Dealt
Jeremy Hellickson – Hellickson has been the veteran starter the Phillies asked of him when signing a 1-year, $7 million contract in the offseason. The former rookie of the year is dependable – a guy a club can count on to go out every fifth day to give a their team a shot to win. He has done exactly that for the most part this season, sporting a 3.65 ERA in 21 starts. The right-hander has been the beneficiary of tough luck this season, only receiving 3.26 runs per game in his starts. After 14 dazzling innings, one-run ball performance against the Marlins in his last two starts, the Fish thought, “if you can’t beat him, join him,” but in the their case, it’s “get him.” Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill was on-hand at Citizens Bank Park to witness Jeremy Hellickson’s masterpiece. The Phillies are eying Marlins’ rookie league players as talks heat up, as of Monday.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2016
The Rumor Mill
Vincent Velasquez – This is very surprising, as fiery right-hander Vincent Velasquez surfaced on the rumor mill today. The Rangers are the reported suitors for the Velasquez. The 24-year old has tallied a strong 8-2 record, good enough for a 3.34 ERA in 17 starts. The deal must knock the Phillies’ socks off in order to trade the young stud, after he was the center-piece in a trade that sent former closer Ken Giles to Houston in the offseason.
Who Should be Traded
Jeanmar Gomez – Although the Phillies have been “very active” recently, there haven’t been any reported teams linked to Jeanmar Gomez, who should be an obvious trade chip. At 28 years old, the emerging closer has sealed 25 games in 28 chances this season while posting a 2.70 ERA. Relief pitchers and even closers come and go. With this being Gomez’s best season as a big leaguer, there’s no guarantee he’ll return to this stature next season – so he should be dealt while the iron is hot. Although with one closer off the board after Aroldis Chapman was dealt to the Cubbies, the chances of Gomez getting traded became slimmer.
Peter Bourjos – Like Gomez, no team has been linked to Peter Bourjos either. Bourjos posted his best season as a Major Leaguer in 2011 – hitting .271 and swiping 22 bags in 147 games. In every other season Bourjos has played in at least 100 games (3 seasons), he has hit no higher than .231. After Bourjos was below the mendoza line on June 12th, he raised his average to .278 on July 7th. Since then, his average dipped 25 points to .253, where it stands today. If Bourjos maintained a .270 average, he’d be drawing more interest from teams, proving his hot streak wasn’t indeed a streak. Hopefully his recent slump hasn’t scared teams away. The Phillies need to unload Peter Borjous as he is not figured to be in the team’s future plans.
Carlos Ruiz – Ruiz has seen a diminished role this season as Cameron Rupp emerged as the starter. At 37, Ruiz can’t take the wear-and-tear of an everyday catcher. The Panama native has quite the resume for a catcher – catching four no hitters (one perfect game), a World Series championship, a second WS appearance, an All Star game under his belt, and the experience of handling multiple pitching staffs. Chooch is hitting a respectable .260 and still provides professional at-bats. With no teams reportedly making noise for Ruiz, the Phillies should push to get anything they can for the Phillies’ lifer.
None of the players above would result in “blockbuster” deal, other than Vincent Velasquez. Anything the Phillies would get in return would be a bonus – hopefully at least one of the players they receive will pan out. As stated earlier, the Phils must be blown away to trade their prize righty Velasquez. The deal must be one-sided for the Phils to pull the trigger. Velasquez’s injury concerns presents a case for the Phillies to listen for offers. If a deal is made to ship Velasquez, it shows the lack of confidence the Phillies have in Velasquez’s health.
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