Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/17/14

In an interview with Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro had a startling revelation: that the team actaully could be sellers at the trade deadline this year.

“July is so far ahead,” Amaro said. “We just have to get on track. But if July comes and we’re playing like this, we’ll be sellers. How we play now will determine whether we’ll be buyers or sellers in July.”

This is a startling statement from the GM of a team who last year, set a franchise record for wins. A team that has won the NL East for five consecutive seasons. A team that has been the class of the National League over the last five years. And they could possibly be selling in two months?

Amaro does make some good points in the interview, namely that the Phillies aren't playing well right now. Their offense has a league-low 5.7% walk rate, and their .299 wOBA is in the league's bottom ten. With just 22 homers, the Phillies are also in the bottom ten in the league, but they're actually better than division rivals New York and Washington. Philadelphia's rotation has been dominant so far, with a 3.06 ERA that is in the top five in the league, and a 2.96 FIP that is second best in the game, behind just the Nationals. 

But the bullpen? Oh god, the bullpen. The Phillies bullpen has a 5.59 ERA, worst in the league, nearly a run worse than the next-worst team in the league, the Brewers. Their 6.78 strikeout rate is third worst in the league, and they've also got the worst groundball rate in the league at 37.9%. Only two relievers have a positive fWAR: the injured David Herndon, and the erratic Antonio Bastardo. Everyone else is either neutral (including Jonathan Papelbon, who got shelled on Monday), or has negative value.

Who would the Phillies sell off? Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels are both free agents this offseason, and could command significant value. I wouldn't expect BOTH to be dealt, but one of them would be a possibility. Victorino has just a .703 OPS this year (including a horrifying .298 OPS), and if he continues to struggles, might not command a lot in return. He'll likely improve though, as he's got five homers, nine steals, and just a .245 BABIP. Hamels on the other hand, has been dominant. He's striking out nearly ten batters per nine innings, has a team-leading 2.33 FIP (and is second in ERA at 2.45), and he's looking like he'll be getting a huge contract this offseason.

As for other pieces to deal...there really isn't much. Nobody is going to want Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, or Chase Utley, due to their contracts and injury history. Third baseman Placido Polanco is washed up. Hunter Pence could be worth something, given that he's under team control for next year as well, but he's got a .299 OBP right now and is showing his hacking tendencies in full. 

An interesting name that the Phillies could look to deal is catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz has gained a cult following in Philly, and has a .916 OPS so far this season. He leads the team with 1.3 fWAR. But at the same time, he's 33 years-old, and isn't a guy that should be locked up long-term, and has a reasonable option for next season. He's not a part of the Phillies' long-term plans, but could provide a great boost to a team looking for a good hitting catcher in this day and age, where strong hitting catchers are coveted.

While you can say that it's still early and that the Phillies have plenty of time to make up ground in the NL East, they have to jump ahead of four teams, with the Nationals being fantastic on the mound and the Braves being dominant with the stick. It's too early to wave the white flag, but keep an eye on this situation.

[follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Report: Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Jim Harbaugh to Michigan speculation building

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Max Scherzer next domino to fall in free agent market

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.