The Philadelphia entered the All-Star break at an even .500 on the season. It seems fitting considering the team appears to be on the fence between buying and selling this summer. While at one point it appeared the Phillies could sell with an eye toward the future, it now appears the team will be reluctant to deal veterans at the deadline based on comments made by general partner David Montgomery.
Montgomery told reporters -- including Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer -- the he doesn't envy the position general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in. While he did say the deadline is still relatively far off, Montgomery indicated that if the Phillies show they have an "opportunity to make something out of this year" they should be supported by management.
“You try to do what is right for several constituencies, one
is you try to do what is right for the group in the clubhouse, “Montgomery
said. “As long as they show they feel they have an opportunity to make
something out of this year, we should be supporting that if at all possible.
You certainly want to send that message to your fans as well.”
That is the same sort of vague statement that's been emanating from Philadelphia's front office for the last several weeks leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies have gone 9-4 to enter the break at 48-48, but they're still 6.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East and 5.5 games out of the Wild-Card.
The Phillies have three pivotal series coming up against the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers when play resumes tomorrow. Considering their competition, the team will need to produce a good showing to retain its .500 mark, much less improve on it.
While the Phillies are candidates to add a bat or bullpen arm, they also have several veterans that would appeal to contenders if made available. It appears that Cliff Lee isn't going anywhere, but rumors will continue to swirl around him and other veterans including Jonathan Papelbon, Michael Young, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz if the team struggles over the next two weeks.
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