It appears that all of the trade rumors were precisely that. Apparently, when Ruben Amaro said he wasn’t necessarily going to trade any of his players, he wasn’t lying.
The Phillies allowed the trade deadline to pass without making a single trade. They didn’t even trade Michael Young, and most people assumed he was a mortal lock to be dealt.
The Amaro haters will surely blast the inaction. “How could Amaro not get something, ANYTHING for these guys?” While I wish that they had been able to move some replaceable parts, (Jonathan Papelbon and Kyle Kendrick come to mind) the fact that they didn’t make any deals doesn’t signify the death of the franchise.
Remember that today wasn’t the true trade deadline. Players can still be traded until August 31st if they pass through waivers without being claimed. While this makes a trade more difficult, it is far from impossible.
I’m sure some fans are disappointed because they envisioned the Phillies receiving an impressive array of prospects in return for their veterans. Despite 90% of the Phillies’ fanbase not knowing of his existence before this week, everyone became convinced that Xander Bogaerts was the key to the future of the team. But it seems as if Bogaerts was never an actual possibility. Based on what others teams received as trade compensation, it doesn’t appear that the Phillies were being offered all that much for any of their players. If you’re not going to get players who you think can help the team in the near future, then why give away players who still provide actual value and might help the team win in 2014?
Some argue that the Phillies won’t be able to compete next season because they don’t have any money to spend, and that they needed to make a trade simply to free up some payroll space. If the Phillies really felt like they were in a bind financially, wouldn’t they have been more likely to make a bad trade? Amaro probably could have found a taker for Jonathan Papelbon assuming he didn’t ask for much in return and agreed to pay some of the money still owed. It might not have been a huge savings, but if the Phillies were truly looking for salary relief, isn’t that a deal that they make?
So if they weren’t going to get anything useful in return, and they don’t actually need the financial help, then what would be the point of making a trade? Why not just keep Young around to help mentor Cody Asche and play first base in Ryan Howard’s absence? While there is a concern that Young will take away valuable playing time from Asche, the Phillies seem to intend for Asche play just about every day. If anything, Young’s presence might cut into the playing time for Delmon Young, and I doubt that anyone is too upset by that.
I realize that there are some people who wanted the Phillies to jettison everyone, just so the team can completely rebuild. There is no indication that a complete rebuild was ever in the team’s plans, and if you’re a Phillies fan, it shouldn’t be something that you hope for. If you want to see what complete rebuilding looks like, take a look at the situations in Miami and Houston.
So while I do feel a bit of disappointment that the Phillies didn’t take any steps to improve the future of the franchise, I can appreciate that they didn’t necessarily hurt the future either.
For more thoughts on the Phillies and the rest of the Philly sports scene, follow me on Twitter @MikeLacy_215
Tags: Baseball Boston Red Sox Chase Utley Cliff Lee Cody Asche Jonathan Papelbon Kyle Kendrick Michael Young Mike Lacy MLB MLB Trade Deadline Mlb Trade Rumors Philadelphia Phillies Ruben Amaro Ruben Amaro Jr Trade Deadline Xander Bogaerts