Ruben Amaro continues to publically state that he doesn’t believe the Phillies will sell at the deadline, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News released a piece this morning in which he detailed how scouts anticipate Amaro will attack the July 31st trade deadline.
Speaking of the Phillies, scouts chattering in ballparks around the country expect them be active sellers — but hold onto Cliff Lee. The Phils want to contend next year, and probably can’t do it without Lee.
I think this is a bit more of a realistic approach from Amaro, but at the very least I would listen to offer for Cliff Lee. It isn’t like even with him having an all-star caliber season in 2013, that the Phils are close to being a playoff team. I wouldn’t give Lee away to just anyone, but hell at least answer the phone and listen to the offers that other teams present.
Martino does believe that the Phils will shop both Jonathan Papelbon and Michael Young, which isn’t exactly breaking news. But contrary to reports that we have heard recently that Amaro would rather re-sign Chase Utley in attempt to make him a Phillie for life, Martino expects Utley to be moved.
In addition to Young, who will be a free agent, rival scouts and execs anticipate that Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon will be dealt, or at least heavily shopped. Utley is well into the decline phase of what once looked like a Hall of Fame career, but one scout noted that “he is moving really well,” despite serious knee problems in recent seasons, and that his recent trip to the disabled list was unlikely to scare off potential suitors because it was an oblique strain, unrelated to previous issues.
Out of those three, the Phillies are most likely to get their biggest return out of Jonathan Papelbon. And with some contenders in serious need of closers, the idea that teams will overpay to get Jonathan Papelbon make become a reality sometime over the next few weeks.
As for Papelbon, the Phils could hold onto him for next year, but rivals see too much of a need for bullpen help among contenders like Detroit and Boston. “Someone is going to offer them a lot for Pap,” said one rival exec.
Martino does remind everyone that Ruben Amaro and the Phillies seem to be having a tough time coming to grips with the fact that the greatest era of Phillies baseball is coming to screeching halt.
With the Phillies, it is important to note that GM Ruben Amaro holds his plans extremely close, leaving rivals to engage in speculation. The team is experiencing a complicated, transitional moment, and has not indicated its direction.
I understand from a fans perspective how frustrating it is to see this era end. At the same time, when I write blogs on here I give my real thoughts on this team, and I was one of the first people to say that this wasn’t a playoff team. So if I can realize it, maybe Ruben Amaro needs to come to grips with reality too. It’s only his job.
Tags: Chase Utley Trade Rumors Cliff Lee Trade Rumors Jonathan Papelbon Tigers Jonathan Papelbon Trade Rumors Michael Young Trade Rumors Michael Young Yankees Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors Phillies Trade Rumors