Phillies mailbag: Which Phillies will actually get traded?


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Brandon from Cherry Hill: For the sake of water-cooler talk, settle this one for me: Which Phillies will actually be traded at the deadline?

 Tim: I guess that the easiest way to do this would be to go player-by-player and break down who I think actually will get traded.

Chase Utley

Value Breakdown: The New York Post’s Joel Sherman called Utley ‘the prize’ of the trade market’ last weekend, while ESPN’s Jayson Stark not only thought the Phillies would need to get a massive package back for Utley, but he himself seemed to get caught up in his love for Utley.

Chase is an all-time great Phil who plays the game the way that we all wish every player would–I get that. What I don’t get is how anyone could think that if the Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals and Yankees all have serious interest, the Phillies can’t get a decent return. Are they going to get a massive package with three future hall-of-famers? No, but this is a 35 year-old second-baseman with a history of knee problems that we are talking about.

If Utley generates the type of interest that I anticipate, and the Phillies can get two or three future MLB contributors (maybe one with some real upside), then i think not only should they do it, but they will.

Verdict: Goes

Cliff Lee

Value Breakdown: I don’t have any question in my mind that if Lee didn’t get hurt, he would be the biggest name on the trade-market right now. Unfortunately, yesterday was the first time that Lee even played catch in nearly three weeks, and my guesstimate for when we see Lee return to the MLB is right after the All-Star break. So chances are, Lee will make one or two starts before the July 31st trade-deadline, and unless those starts are both complete game shutouts, I’d say there is about no chance that he gets moved prior to the trade deadline.

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury did bring up the idea of Lee potentially being an August waiver-trade, something I’ve speculated about for a couple weeks now, which isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely. The chances in August, that the first team that claims Lee, is willing to actually part with a prospect and/or take on all or most of the $37.5 million Lee is guaranteed after this year, doesn’t seem likely. It’s possible, but if Lee has any setbacks in his rehab or struggles upon his return, then even this option is out.

Lee might be moved this off-season, but as previously mentioned, that would require no setbacks and a strong performance whenever he does return. I have a feeling we might be discussing Lee’s trade value at this time next year.

Verdict: Stays

Jimmy Rollins

Value Breakdown: After CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury passed along that Rollins had indicated to him that he might waive his no-trade clause after he breaks the hits record, I was beginning to feel like both members of the greatest double-play combination in Phillies’ history (Rollins and Utley) could be traded prior to the trading deadline. Since then, every indication that we’ve gotten suggests that Rollins won’t be leaving Philly within the next 45 days.

Last weekend, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal said that he had talked to some of Jimmy Rollins’ friends, and had gotten mixed responses on whether J-Roll would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. While some of Rollins’ friends felt he would waive his no-trade clause to join a contender, others said he ‘isn’t going anywhere’, as he and his family (including his Philadelphia native wife) are happy in Philly.

Jayson Stark wondered on Monday, what teams would even be a mutual fit as far as having interest in Rollins and his $11 million 2015 salary, and finding that same interest back from Rollins.

"Like Utley, Stark thinks that Rollins may only be open to a trade to the west-coast. The problem? Stark believes that the Mariners are the only team of the left coast that would have any interest in Rollins, and doesn’t expect Rollins to waive his ten and five rights to join a team that currently leads the second wild-card, but isn’t considered a World Series favorite."

Rollins $11 million option for next year, which will end up vesting, and his possibly reluctance to leave Philadelphia lead me to think that at least half of the double-play combination will be in Philly past July 31st.

Verdict: Stays

Jonathan Papelbon

Value Breakdown: Papelbon pitched another scoreless inning last night, lowering his ERA to 1.48 on the year. Pap has also converted 14 of 15 save opportunities, which puts him in a position to at least get All-Star consideration.

However, as I pointed out on Tuesday night, Papelbon converted 13 of his first 14 save chances last year, before blowing seven on the season. I think if he went somewhere that he was used more, considering that his velocity and control haven’t necessarily returned in 2014, he would struggle to remain this effective.

His $13 million salary for 2015 and the fact that most championship contending teams would be hesitant to bring his ego into their clubhouse, makes it extremely unlikely that he gets traded.

Let the record show, I’m still in favor of getting Papelbon out at all costs, whether that is trading him for a prospect with no real potential or waiving him, because I don’t want his attitude influencing the younger players on this team for the rest of 2014 or in 2015.

Verdict: Stays

A.J. Burnett

Value Breakdown: Like Rollins, if Burnett was a rental player, he would have a lot more interest. Unlike Rollins, Burnett isn’t having a good season (he has a 4.24 ERA), which makes a team that trades for him potentially being stuck with him next year, a scary idea.

While Burnett did pitch well against the Padres on Tuesday, he would need to pitch how he did in April (when he posted a 2.15 ERA) to generate any real interest. If not, despite the fact that it’s a very real possibility that he retires after this season, Burnett’s $7.5 million option for 2015 will scare teams off. Unless the Phillies eat some of it, it might do that anyway.

Verdict: Stays

Marlon Byrd

Value Breakdown: Byrd has raked against lefties this year, and his 10 homeruns and 38 RBIs could make him valuable to a contender, like he was last July, when the Mets sent him to the Pirates. The problem is that last year he was a cheap rental player, and this year he is a player who is still going to be owed two or so million for the rest of the season. Byrd also is guaranteed eight million dollars next season, and has an attainable vesting option for eight more million in 2016.

At this time of the year, teams aren’t looking to add relatively expensive 36 year-old outfielders who might be under contract for two more seasons.

Verdict: Stays

Cole Hamels

Value Breakdown: After posting a 3.71 ERA in May (his first full month of his season), Hamels has been lights-out in June, posting a 1-0 record with an 0.61 ERA in three starts. For the year, Hamels still has an ERA of 3.07 ERA, which is good, but it isn’t $22.5 good. Maybe Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay set an unfair example, but when I see someone making north of $20 million, I expect an ERA below 2.65 for the season, which Hamels has never done.

I think I see things a bit more clearly one what Hamels actually is as a pitcher, but if he continues to stay hot, I think we will at least see interest generated for Hamels. The problem is, he needs to stay red-hot, to convince a team to trade for the $96 million he is guaranteed after this season. Even then, the chances that the Phillies find a team who presents them with a package of prospects and takes on enough of the deal for a trade to be worth it, aren’t high. I was in the minority when I said the Phillies needed to trade Hamels in 2012, but they would have gotten a much larger package in return for him then, than they wouldnow.

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Verdict: Stays

Mike Adams

Value Breakdown: It’s too early to tell if he is going to be able to get back from his injury in time to recoup any value. My best guess on Adams is he makes a mid-to-late July return, and ends up being waived in August, and picked up by a contender. I wouldn’t really expect any return, because Adams is a rental player.

Verdict: Moved in a August waiver trade

John Mayberry Jr. 

Value Breakdown: For all the disgust that many fans (myself included) had when the Phillies tendered Mayberry a deal in the off-season, he’s going to have interest around the end of July. Mayberry not only is batting over .300 as a pinch-hitter with pop, but the fact that he can play all-three outfield positions and first-base, could make him a very useful bench piece to a contending team. Chances are, he won’t bring much of a return.

Verdict: Gets traded

Kyle Kendrick

Value Breakdown: If Kendrick pitched how he did to wind down the stretch of the 2012 season or at the beginning of the 2013 season, he would have a good amount of interest from teams that were looking to add a fourth starter. Unfortunately, Kendrick was awful during the second half of last season, and has picked up where he left off last year. I’m beginning to think he would be best served as a long-man in the bullpen (which he was for a couple seasons), but I’m sure some desperate team will pay him to be a starter this off-season.

Verdict: Stays


I’m not going to get your hopes up and even breakdown the idea that the Phillies could try to trade Ryan Howard or Carlos Ruiz, we are stuck with those two contracts.