Originally written on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 5/14/12
Texas-rangers-cliff-lee

A lot of people have been suggesting the Phillies make a trade of some kind to infuse their struggling offense or to bolster their bullpen. It seems reasonable enough, but it started me thinking. Who exactly can the Phillies trade and what could they expect in return?

The Phillies have very few commodities in terms of major league baseball. They have a number of blue chip players, but not many that you could actually trade and hope to get a piece that will help this team. You could certainly look at trading Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee, but to do so would basically be waving the white flag of surrender. Even as this team struggles along, few people are ready to say that this team can’t contend anymore. Trading a player of the caliber of Halladay or Lee would be doing just that.

Ryan Howard is untouchable because of the enormity and length of his 5-year $125 million contract. Though he has yet to play this year, Howard is collecting on the deal’s FIRST year. No one would touch him anyway, but now with the uncertainty of his Achilles’ injury, it really would never happen.

Same with Chase Utley. He has this year and next year left on his deal, but his health would preclude any team from doing a deal.

What you really have left as far as trade chips are concerned are Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, Domonic Brown and Hunter Pence.

Those are your tradable commodities, and frankly, only Pence and Hamels could really get you a good haul. Most of the time, teams trade major leaguers for prospects. Straight up player for player deals don’t happen too often, and I really don’t see the Phillies being able to pry loose a player from a team that could really help them.

Cole Hamels is 28 years old and a left-hander. Those two facts alone are reason enough to hold on to him. Factor in that he has already been a World Series d MVP, placed 5th in Cy Young voting last year and that he is making a very strong case as the Phillies’ ace despite Halladay and Lee with 5-1 record and a 2.28 ERA. The argument certainly can be made that Hamels has been the Phillies’ best pitcher this year. His prime is ahead of him still, and he has been amazing over the past two plus years. WIP’s Howard Eskin reported last night that Hamels is looking for a 7-year deal. That could be the hold up to the Phillies getting a deal done with him. But he sure is pitching like he’s worth it. I wouldn’t trade Hamels under any circumstance. He could literally be the linchpin of two separate Phillies clubs if they decide to re-build.

Hunter Pence has been a bit of an enigma this season so far. Not surprising since he’s as unorthodox as he is. Pence leads the team in extra base hits, RBIs and HRs, but has seen his average dip to well below his career average. His blunders in the field have also been out of character. To me this just shows that Pence is a complementary player, not a centerpiece. Considering his uneven performance, I’m not sure what you could get for him, though I’m sure it could be a worthwhile haul.

Domonic Brown and Vance Worley are both prospect type players. Worley has pitched well at the major league level and has some upside, but I don’t know that he’s going to fetch you a player that can really help the Phillies. Dominic Brown was thought to be a blue chip can’t miss prospect, but he has missed to this point. Whether it’s been his struggles at the plate at the major league level or his fielding issues, Brown has yet to really demonstrate the kind of promise the Phillies though he had. Again, I’m not sure what he could get you.

Ultimately, I doubt highly that any team in baseball is really chomping at the bit to help a team that has been as good as the Phillies have for as long as they have. If they did find a player that they wanted, you can bet that the team the Phillies would have to deal with would do their best to fleece the Phillies.

Yes sir, the Phillies are in a real pickle here.Similar Posts:

  • With Expectations Lowered, the Phillies Start Quest for 6th Straight NL East Title
  • Is There More to Hamels’ Beaning of Harper?
  • 2012 Phillies are Not Necessarily a Sure Thing
  • Could the Phillies Be Contemplating a Re-Build?
  • Could Cole Hamels Bolt to the Dodgers at the End of the Year?

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