Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/9/13
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

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

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

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

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