As the end of July approaches only one thing is on our mind as Phillies fans: the trade deadline.
This deadline is unlike that of any before for the Phillies. This deadline will mark the future, either for the better or for the worse. While it is obvious that the Phillies are looking towards the future with the hiring of Andy MacPhail, with the playing time that young players like Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, and Cesar Hernandez are accruing, and with the steady rise of prospects such as Aaron Nola and J.P. Crawford, this trade deadline will either seal the deal for a successful future or push the rebuild back even further.
As Phillies fans we should not expect any blockbuster trades this deadline; rather, we should expect to trade away formerly big names in exchange for players that the everyday Phillies fans, including myself, will not recognize, along with some nice cold, hard cash of course.
So, which names should we expect to see leave the premises of Citizens Bank Park? I will take a look at a few different players who I expect to part ways with the organization by the end of July.
The best trade-bait that we have right now is Cole Hamels, and he is by far the most important player to get rid of at the trade deadline. ‘Get rid of’ sounds a bit harsh for a man who has given his heart and soul to Philadelphia, however at this point in time we must get past the feels and we have to do what is right for the future. Hamels’ value, even though he is coming off a rocky last start, is as high as it has ever been as he is having yet another great season. If it was not for a failing Phillies offense, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have been an All-Star. Expect Hamels to be traded, and if he is not you should be disappointed as a Phillies fan, and I will finally admit that our front office needs changes.
Expect Hamels to go to a playoff contending team, a team that is either lacking an ace or could use another ace in the rotation. Teams such as the Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros.
Papelbon might be the second most important player to trade this offseason. However, the reasons behind the necessity of trading Papelbon are different. The Phillies must trade Papelbon due to the problems he would cause in the organization and in the clubhouse if he was not traded. Pap makes it evident; the entire league knows that he wants to be traded. This does not mean that the Phillies cannot get a solid deal out of a Papelbon trade as there is no questioning that he is a top-tier closer.
Papelbon often speaks about how he would like to be traded to the Cubs. A trade with the Cubs would also be beneficial for the Phillies due to their depth of young talent. Expect to see Papelbon in a Cubs’ uniform.
Ben Revere did his job in Philadelphia. He has had three solid seasons with the Phillies and has provided a spark for the team in the outfield, at the top of the order, and on the base paths. But like I said, he has done his job – it is time for him to go. Revere is getting older and the Phillies need to get younger. Also, by trading Revere there will be more focus placed on both Odubel Herrera and Cody Asche while hopefully giving Dominic Brown some much-needed confidence as he will not have to compete for a starting spot in the outfield.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have expressed interest in Revere.
Just like Revere, Francouer will be traded for reasons very similar, more specifically age. Francouer is old, very old. He has provided the Phillies with a boost off the bench with some big key hits; however, he is better suited with a playoff contending team where he is able to actually impact the course of the season with some late game, pinch-hit at bats. Again, getting rid of Francouer will hopefully build the confidence of players like Brown who will no longer have to compete for a starting spot.
Again, similarly to Ben Revere, the Pirates have expressed interest in a potential trade.
Who will not be traded?
Anyone under the age of 27.
As I have said before, the Phillies are currently rebuilding. While trades involving players like Maikel Franco would be sure to grant us immediate satisfaction in Philadelphia, unfortunately at this point we must play the waiting game and be patient for a few years before we can see success again. It is a process and we cannot expect instant success at this point, we are too deep into the rebuild.
Ryan Howard and Chase Utley
While we would all love to get rid of both of these players due to not only their age but also their declining skills, unfortunately we will not because we just cannot. The value of both of these players is at an all-time low. They no longer perform to the levels that they once did and they still cost a large sum of money. While they both probably will not be around much longer in Philadelphia, it will only be due to retirement, not due to any trades.