Pat Gillick has always been a brutally honest man. When he traded franchise corner stone Bobby Abreu, along with starting pitcher Corey Lidle during the 2006 trade deadline Gillick stated that the Phillies wouldn’t contend for two years. Two years later they were hoisting the World Series trophy. So folks, get your lawn chairs ready for that parade in 2017!
In an exclusive interview with CSN’s John Clark, Gillick said that the Phillies won’t seriously contend until 2017. He followed that up by saying everyone on the roster is available in a trade. That includes, of course, ace Cole Hamels. Ruben Amaro Jr., not wanting to make a liar out of Gillick, inked starter Jerome Williams and outfielder Grady Sizemore to new deals this week. Both moves are an indication that a 2015 run might not be in the cards.
The Phillies are coming off a 73-89 season which saw them finish dead last in the National League East. The Phillies need a shakeup and it could come soon. We mentioned earlier today that the Phillies were the favorite to land Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. The 23-year old is a start, and he would be in his prime (26 years old) in 2017. Aaron Nola is likely another reason for Gillick’s proclamation. The right hander who the Phillies took seventh overall in the 2014 draft should be in the rotation at some point next season. He would turn 24-years old during the 2017 season.
Its no secret that the Phillies will likely look to move ace left hander Cole Hamels this winter. Hamels is coming off the best season in his career (2.46 ERA) and his value has never been higher. The Phillies, mainly GM Ruben Amaro Jr, has never had much luck trading proven players for prospects, so lets hope that trend will stop if the Phillies move Hamels. The Boston Red Sox are likely the favorite to land Hamels, and their farm system is deep.
Then of course you have the few pieces in the Phillies system that could contribute soon. Can Maikel Franco make the jump to the majors and be the guy that smashed 31 home runs in 2013? Can former first round pick Jesse Biddle rebound after his tough 2014 season? Will JP Crawford be in the majors by 2017? Can Roman Quinn, and Kelly Dugan stay healthy enough to reach the majors in three years and contribute?
Obviously no one knows just yet. But if you combine Tomas and Nola, with the package the Phillies could get for Hamels, mixed with the prospects they have in the system, then Pat Gillick might just be onto something. The Phillies could theoretically turn this old team, into a young nucleus this offseason. Give that nucleus a few seasons and who knows. Just in case, I’ll be camped out on Broad St. claiming my spot. Stop by and say hi!