Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 5/10/12

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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker