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Yesterday I wrote about how CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury did a piece on how the Phillies continue to demonstrate their interest in Marlins right-fielder Giancarlo Stanton. However, in the piece Salisbury also addressed numerous players on the Phillies, and their availability should the Phillies become sellers for the second straight summer. And unless the Phillies learn how to consistently beat teams not named the Mets or Marlins, they may very well end up selling at the deadline.
Jonathan Papelbon- As much as a I love Pap, Salisbury makes a very valid point that if the Phillies do decide to rebuild, they can find a closer for much cheaper than 13 million dollars per season. A guy like Philippe Amount, is a candidate already on the roster, who has closer-type stuff, and if given time could thrive in the role. The biggest question if the Phillies do decide to move Papelbon, is how much value can they get for a 32 year-old closer, due 26 million over the next two seasons. Salisbury does mention the Detroit Tigers as a potential suitor.
Jimmy Rollins- While J-Roll might not hit for the same average he once did, he still provides above-average power at shortstop, and a tremendous glove at shortstop. Salisbury does remind fans that Rollins holds a full no-trade clause, and he will have to agree to wherever he gets traded to. I know that it would be difficult to move on from J-Roll, but if the Phillies are in a position to sell at the deadline, then it means that it is time to rebuild. And Rollins is 34 and refusing to move on from him, would feel like a desperate attempt to hold on to the 2008 World Series team, rather than building for a future World Series run.
Cliff Lee- Lee has been inconsistent to start the 2013 season, showing both great and disappointing moments, in route to a 2-2 record with a 3.46 ERA. If the Phillies decide to move in another direction as a team Lee is a lock to get moved, because as Salisbury points out, Cliff Lee is still due 62.5 million over the next three seasons. Teams will certainly be interested in Lee, but the Phils will have to pick what they want to get out of the deal. Either the Phillies will pick up significant part of Lee’s salary and look to get back a good package of prospects, or they will trade away Lee’s whole contract and get back a package of B-type prospects while getting salary relief. Either way if anyone is traded, Lee will likely be the guy.
Chase Utley- Chase Utley is the man, and he is producing close to the old Chase Utley this year. But he is 34, has a dengenerative knee condition, and is in a contract year. And if the Phils decide to sell two years in a row, in my mind it means that they are rebuilding. So does it really make sense to hold on to a 34-year old, with uncertain health, and who will still cost a decent amount to re-sign? Most likely not, but as MLB Trade Rumors points out people around the MLB think that the Phillies want to try to keep Utley in a Phillies uniform past 2013, as long as he can stay on the field. MLB Trade Rumors also believes that the Phillies would want it to be a peaceful exit, and would allow Utley to have some control over whether a trade does happen, if the situation presents itself.
Carlos Ruiz-Chooch hasn’t even been back for a full week yet, but like Utley, is in a contract year and 34 years-old. He has started slow, but he is a tremendous fielder, can hit close to .300, and has been a clutch performer in the playoffs. Chooch could be a very good fit for a team like the Tampa Bay Rays if they are buyers at the deadline, but likely only as a rental player. For the Phillies I’m not sure they would get a ton for Ruiz in a trade, but Salisbury believes that trading Ruiz frees up a spot for catching prospect Tommy Joseph, who the Phillies acquired in the Hunter Pence deal last July.
Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard- Salisbury lumps Howard and Halladay together as two guys who are making 20 plus million, and aren’t producing at that level in 2013. He believes that both are unmoveable contracts, but the Phillies would certainly listen to offers for either. I think it is more likely a team would be interested in Howard, because despite the fact that he is only in year two of a five-year 125 million-dollar deal, he still provides a ton of power production. Halladay may be in the final year of a deal, but it is hard to imagine a team would view Halladay as a rental player that would put them over the top because no one knows how Halladay is going to pitch start to start. That also leaves out how high the Phillies are on Halladay, and they would still likely want a decent return for Doc.
The hope is that the Phillies can turn a below average start around as the weather warms up, but if they don’t it may be time to go through a full re-build, which may mean trading some long-time Phils.
Topics: Carlos Ruiz Trade Rumors, Chase Utley Contract Situation, Chase Utley Future With Phillies, Chase Utley Trade Rumors, Cliff Lee Dodgers, Cliff Lee Trade Rumors, Giancarlo Stanton Phillies, Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors, Jimmy Rollins Trade Rumors, Jonathan Papelbon Tigers, Jonathan Papelbon Trade Rumors