Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 6/25/12

The Phillies have some questions so far this year, but one stands out the most. What can this team do to improve for the stretch run? Many people have speculated that it is time for a trade. Some are willing to part with Cliff Lee. Others suggest an impending free agent Cole Hamels should be on the move. But, could that change possibly come from within, i.e. Domonic Brown? How about moving Jim Thome to the American League as a DH, or even moving another future free agent in Shane Victorino? And finally is there anything in the farm system worth value? Today, in part 1 of our 3 part series, we break down what players the Phillies can trade if they decide to move someone from the team and what players could jolt the organization from within.

First, let’s look at the possibility of either Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels being on the move. Now, both of these players should they be traded would cause the Phillies to gain a ton of prospects and possibly some help at the major league level. There is an upside of trading either of the two players, but there are many negatives, obviously.

First, Cliff Lee is making an insane amount of money (But did take less to play for the Phillies) and clearing up some of that could make it easier to resign Cole Hamels and/or Shane Victorino. Cole Hamels could chose to sign elsewhere in the offseason, so the Phillies could lose him and only gain two draft picks in return. Since Hamels is a free agent , the Phillies could look to find a team that is still in it that wants a rent a player for the stretch run. Trading Cole or Cliff would probably signify that the Phillies will be sellers and plan on rebuilding, especially since Roy Halladay is sidelined for a few more weeks.

"Man Cliff, I dont know about you, but I can't afford to move...yet"

Another interesting player to trade would be Shane Victorino. Victorino has underperformed this year and is also in a contract year. A team looking for outfield help could choose to take Victorino and offer a bullpen piece in return or maybe another outfielder. Domonic Brown has been playing center in AAA Lehigh Valley and Mayberry has gotten a start at center, and is batting above .350 the past week.

"I've got my mind on my money and my money on my mind"

Finally Jim Thome presents an intriguing trade possibility, especially coming of his successful run as a DH in interleague play. In that stretch, Thome raised his season average to .254 and is slugging a solid .542. He has hit 5 Homers and has driven in 15 runs in 59 total at bats. Thome’s OPS is 3rd highest on the team, only behind Carlos Ruiz and injured bench player Laynce Nix.

As for what is in the system ready for a jump to the majors? Nothing much. I guess you have to look at Domonic Brown first. He’s batting .266 with 4 Homeruns and 22 RBI’s at AAA Lehigh Valley.  Before his knee injury he was really hitting his stride, going .316 in the month of June and belting in 3 HR’s good enough for a .986 OPS. It remains to be seen if Brown will be back in the majors this year, but I hope not. I would like to see a solid run in AAA this season for Brown.

Justin DeFratus (currently on a rehab assignment) and Phillippe Aumont look like they could jump into the bullpen at any time. Both have made the transition from starter to reliever and both really excel in situational relief pitching. Aumont has a fastball in the mid 90’s and a wicked curve to compliment it. He’s struck out 29 batters in 20.1 IP at AAA. DeFratus has a fastball with some movement to it and has picked up a nice slider. He could provide the Phillies with what they need: a setup guy. However it is doubtful coming off the injury he will make it to the big leagues this year outside of a September call up.

Finally, a few other outfielders to look at. Jiwan James is a guy that I really like. He’s a switch hitting outfielder who is insanely fast. One drawback is that he lacks plate discipline. I don’t think he’s much of a help this year, but he’s probably the closest outfielder to the majors outside of Brown or Tyson Gillies. Gillies is batting .280 on the year at AA Reading. He has struck out 30 times in 168 AB’s.

Pretty much the only way the Phillies make a trade is if they trade a major league player for another major league player. I don’t think Ruben Amaro will admit that the season is over, so I doubt the Phillies will be sellers. I also don’t think they will be buyers, because they don’t have much in the system to give up. Most likely they will stay the course, unless they can get major league talent for one of the four guys listed above.

"What is Going on Back There?" 

Over the course of the next few days, we will look at some interesting pieces within other organizations the Phillies could be targeting. We will take a look at each division team by team to decide what teams would be the best possible trade partners with the Phillies and a ranking of what teams the Phillies would most likely partner with. Stay tuned as tomorrow we will take a look at the National League!

 

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