Earlier today, CBS Sports’s Senior MLB Analyst told me that he doesn’t see the Phillies going into full seller mode at the trade deadline regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s series against the Tigers. He did say that he could still see the Phillies moving certain players and brought up the name of Michael Young specifically. Jayson Stark released his weekly rumblings and grumblings column this afternoon, and addressed the perspective that the Phillies either have to buy or sell.
While the outside world continues to portray the Phillies as trapped between buying and selling, execs of two clubs they’ve spoken to say they’re mostly trying to position their team for the future without giving up on this season.
“They’ve never said they felt like they had no chance this year,” one exec said. “But they’re more focused on building their team for next year and beyond. They’ve never shown a lot of interest in players who can be free agents after this season.”
With the idea of improving the team for both this year and next season, Stark mentions that the Phillies have shown serious interest in Padres reliever Luke Gregerson.
An executive who speaks frequently with the Phillies’ brass says the Phillies and Padres have “talked a lot” about a potential deal that could send reliever Luke Gregerson and an outfielder to Philadelphia for a package of young players. But the Phillies appear to be poking around for deals that wouldn’t require them to give up any of their most advanced prospects.
Gregerson is 4-5, with a 2.98 ERA, and 37 strikeouts in 46 games in 2013, so his addition would certainly improve the Phillies now and next year. And a player like Will Venable could be a decent bench pickup for the Phillies. The question then becomes how much do you need to give up to get to players like Gregerson and Venable, and is it going to be a move that you are sure is worth giving up young players to complete?
Gregerson is making 3.2 million this year, and has one more year left of team control. If the Phillies were to acquire the righty, they would need to either agree to a deal for 2014 with him or head to arbitration.