PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We are exactly two weeks away from the Major League Baseball trade deadline and the 42-53 Phillies will, we think, be major sellers. For general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies front-office, that’ll mean taking a hard look at the roster before the July 31st trade deadline to determine who stays and who goes.
With pretty much the entire roster up for discussion, let’s take a look at some of the big named Phillies and their respective chances of being shipped elsewhere.
Proving last year’s stint with the Mets and Pirates wasn’t a fluke, Byrd has produced at a high level for the Phils. He leads the team in home runs (18 HR), slugging percentage (.479) and OPS (.795).
Byrd, 37, has a partial no trade-clause, which could make any potential deal tricky. Byrd has already stated he would be willing to discuss possible destinations, and some reports have stated Byrd has told management he would be willing to go to Seattle.
Byrd will not be part of the Phillies long-term rebuilding plan, which makes him expendable for the right price. Teams looking for a right-handed power bat will most likely look at the Phillies outfielder, and his reasonable contract (combined $11.3 million guaranteed this season and next) should make him a somewhat easy move for the Phils.
Lee has not pitched for the Phillies since May 18th, but he was off to a good start before he went to the DL with an elbow injury (3.18 ERA through 10 starts).
With so many star pitchers down with elbow injuries, some teams may be weary of Lee’s health headed into the pennant race. However, a few solid starts before the deadline should temper any uneasiness about Lee’s elbow.
Lee is not as young or invested in the city as Cole Hamels, so moving Lee for a package of prospects makes more sense for the Phils. While Lee’s no-trade clause could complicate things, as a proven commodity with an incredible postseason track record—who has said he wants to pitch for a contender—Lee should be one of the more sought after pitchers in this year’s market.
Last week, Papelbon ruffled feathers in the city when he said he would prefer to play for a contender. Pap’s time in Philadelphia has been tumultuous at times, but he has put together a solid campaign this season, compiling 22 saves in 24 opportunities. He has allowed a microscopic .177 BAA and .086 WHIP.
Papelbon doesn’t miss bats like he used to (only 33 strikeouts in 37.1 innings), and he won’t net the Phillies a huge return in any potential deal because of his massive four year, $52 million contract. Nevertheless, Papelbon will have some value to contending teams looking to solidify their bullpen for the stretch run, and the Phils won’t hesitate to ship the enigmatic Papelbon out of their clubhouse with the way youngster Ken Giles has been throwing.
Burnett has put together a solid season, and pitched particularly well in his last seven starts (3 earned runs or less allowed over that time). For contending teams looking for a third or fourth starter, Burnett makes sense.
Burnett could make a return back to the Pirates, where he enjoyed his most success as a pro.
Burnett is in the midst of a two-year deal he signed before the 2014 season, worth $11.25 million over this season and next.
Hamels is without question the Phillie with the most trade value. At age 30, Hamels is still the ace of the Phillies staff. Despite just three wins this season, Hamels has posted very solid ERA and WHIP numbers (2.93 and 1.211 respectively), and his long-term contract and postseason track record could net a huge gain for the Phillies in any proposed trade—especially if the Phillies were willing to pay a portion of the remaining $90 million left on Hamels’ contract
The problem is, Hamels has a partial no-trade clause which limits potential destinations to just nine teams. Also, the front office has maintained they would prefer to keep Hamels as part of the rebuild. Hamels seems to like it here, and the Phillies don’t appear to be in any rush to move him.
Utley has found the fountain of youth this season. After three lackluster, injury-plagued seasons, Utley returned to the All-Star game for the first time since 2010. While Utley may not be the superstar he was back when he was a threat for 30 HR and 100 RBI every season, but the sweet-stroking lefty is still one of the best hitters in baseball. The Phils could muster a nice package in return for Utley.
The problem with Utley is that he remains the heart and soul of the “old guard” that the front office seems reluctant to let go of. While Utley can provide a potential west-coast National League contender with a prominent bat, are Amaro and the Phillies organization willing to part ways with the beloved Phillies second baseman? All indications say no.
At age 35, Utley has three vesting options remaining on his contract starting from 2016 through 2018 that would guarantee him $15 million in each respective season, as long as he makes 500 plate appearances.
Trade rumors involving Rollins in Spring Training that dominated the headlines have cooled considerably since then. Rollins is obviously not the player he once was, but at this stage of his career he’s still a serviceable shortstop.
Rollins still has solid pop (11 HRs), steals bases (19 SBs), and plays solid defense. But there isn’t a trade market for the 35 year-old, who holds a full no-trade clause and is still entrenched in this community. Rollins has stated he still wants to remain in Philadelphia and that likely won’t change after July 31st.
A lot of names and a lot of decisions to be made. The Phillies roster could look significantly different two weeks from today.
Elijah Stewart currently works for the WIP Morning Show, as he continues his studies at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
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