Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Even after the trading deadline passed without Michael Young in a new uniform, the Philadelphia Phillies still can deal the third baseman through a waiver transaction in August. It’s easy to publish opinions and predictions before the event; however, this piece was my writing sample on July 22 (more in welcome section), when the Phils had a shot to win the division. How close was my assessment to reality? TAL’S HANDY CAPS WELCOME, NEWCOMERS: This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the organization’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. This is an introduction to a baseball-angled–not a fan’s–approach to coverage. I am currently submitting writing samples to major outlets to establish greater visibility for my reviews. During this period, there will be at least one article per week–and two maximum–at this site for the time being. Check out: Storyline: Seller’s Remorse and the Philadelphia Phillies This review is an additional posting.   Revere Watches from the Loneliness of the DL List Before the Game at the Bank on August 3 Against the Braves. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)   NITECAP INSIGHT         Trade Decisions:   For the red pinstripes, trading elite players is more hype than reality. This season is the ultimate exercise in futility for three franchises, not just one. The Braves are a club yo-yoing above .500 after a 12-1 start (The loss was to Cliff Lee.). The Nationals, on the other hand, have straddled the .500 mark consistently during this entire campaign. Atlanta has an inconsistent attack, homer or strikeout, with three regulars recently averaging below .230, and they lack a solid leadoff hitter. They lost Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty–their top southpaw relievers–earlier this summer, which benefits the Phils with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Ben Revere and Domonic Brown. Washington did not re-sign the three left-handed members of their 2012 relief corps: Sean Burnett, Mike Gonzalez and Tom Gorzelanny. Also, against lefty hurlers,  the Nationals have had scoring problems. They are at or near the bottom against them in key NL offensive categories (RBI, runs and average). Lee Loads Up a Curveball During the First Inning–the Only One That Frame–at the Bank on August 4 Against the Braves. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on July 22 (updated), Phillies fans would welcome a total rebuilding, but keeping favorite stars is management’s only stated reasoning. However, business considerations involve more than only one factor. No fire sale is a more studied evaluation. Per Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Amaro claimed he would buy if it was July 31 on that morning (July 21). In other words, 6 1/2 games out is now only the first possible boundary. The decision-maker faces three choices for the approaching deadline: He could acquire a bullpen arm or two, pick up minor league talent for veterans, or stand pat. Adding experienced relievers, the general manager would stoke the competitive fires of the unproven youngsters. The parent club would go with the best three from this crop: Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Joe Savery and Luis Garcia. Papelbon Deals a Four-Seam Fastball During the Ninth Inning at the Bank on August 6 Against the Cubs. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America) Amaro cannot even partially rebuild this squad because of massive contracts he cannot move; in other words, he can only retool. From Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the 2014 payroll for the AAV (average annual value) includes Howard’s $25 million, Cole Hamels’ $24 million and Mike Adams’ $6 million for $55 million total. Management did not re-sign Hamels a year ago to front a staff of Kyle Kendrick, Jesse Biddle and Jonathan Pettibone for 2014. Next summer, the organization will require a horse and a closer: Lee and Jonathan Papelbon are under contract at $24 million and $12.5 million respectively. Most general managers are unwilling to absorb big contracts and part with top-shelf prospects, but Amaro has to command both. The predictable result is a list of expensive keepers: Jimmy Rollins ($11 million), Howard, Hamels, Utley, Lee, Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz and Adams. That comes to a guaranteed total of $102.5 million for six athletes. Utley and Ruiz will be free agents after this campaign. Michael Young Crushes a Three-Run Homer During the Third Frame on July 19 in Queens. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels are the core of the glory days. Looking ahead, Amaro will be reluctant to move these cornerstones and will keep them in the fold. He doesn’t have a catcher to replace Ruiz either and would prefer keeping David Montgomery’s favorite player. He can, however, add a right fielder or a five-slot starter and tap the farm for Freddy Galvis or Cody Asche at third base. If the club falters now, 3B Young, Delmon Young and John Lannan are on the block; and Galvis would man the hot corner for two months. The Phils are loath to carry empty payroll. An example is their approach to the penalty for exceeding the competitive-balance tax. Likewise, paying their former stars even half of their pricey contracts to play for competitors is unthinkable during a rebuilding process. That’s a discouraging $18.25 million for Lee and Papelbon during 2014 alone. I recently heard a baseball lifer’s opinion of the sport as 40 percent luck, which crystallizes when a play or call alters the outcome. It also shows the NL East race is far from a foregone conclusion. If Atlanta continues to play .500 ball, they will finish the season at 87-75. If Washington does not solve their hitting and pitching shortcomings, they will suffer the fate of unfulfilled expectations. Utley Survives a Home-Plate Collision During the Seventh Inning at the Bank on August 7 Against the Cubs. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Erik Kratz rejoined the squad after only a five-week absence due to a left knee operation, and it is not unreasonable to consider Howard’s downtime similarly with the same left knee surgery and the same original recovery time. (Early reports indicate the best possible news.) If the first basemen can return to a reasonable semblance of his homer-launching self, he will be a difference-maker in September. Darin Ruf will seize his opportunity at first base because he doesn’t have the worry of hitting and fielding (left field) he had in March. Hamels will dominate during the final three months: the law of averages. The opinion here is Amaro is deciding from series to series, and that will shortly be game to game.   Phillies e-mail notification for Tal’s Handy Caps: Message me at talvenada@hotmail.com   Update: According to John Finger of CSNPhilly.com on Tuesday, Charlie Manuel hinted that Delmon’s time in Philly might end shortly. Three days later, the organization designated him for assignment. Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, Utley re-signed with the Phils for two guaranteed seasons. These events are relevant to the above article.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

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

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

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.