Will Philly Be Trading Aces?

Cole Hamels has been the best player on an old, punch-less, under achieving Phillies team all season. A team that is currently last in the NL East.

It’s been well publicized about his contract being up at the end of the year. Philadelphia has one of the highest payrolls in Major League baseball. Giving Hamels a deal near or exceeding money to what Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee are making seems logical, because he pitches just as well as they do, but it just might not be in the best interest of the team to do so. Even though the home-grown Hamels deserves it.

The everyday talent in Philadelphia has eroded – Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Placido Polanco are shells of their former selves. The lack of production and health from these players might force GM Ruben Amaro’s hand to break up the awesome pitching staff that has assembled in Philly.

With Cole and Shane Victorino both hitting the free agent market this off-season, the time to make the hard decision is now.

This team has no *bankable* young talent. Dominic Brown was supposed to be that guy, but he is still finding himself in Triple-A. Still, you need more than one guy to fill the holes on this roster even if he was ready.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

The past three trade deadlines Philadelphia has traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence. Lee was traded to Seattle at the end of the 2009 season for minor league players who have done absolutely nothing up to this point. Before eventually resigning with the Phils in 2011. Oswalt isn’t currently pitching in the majors. Pence has been one of a few bright spots this season, though he can be streaky. With all of those deals being made, the farm system was completely depleted with the exception of Dominic Brown.

I wonder what kind of haul could be made if the Phillies dealt Halladay, Lee, and/or Hamels? Or maybe just Halladay, and Lee? Then resign Hamels at the end of the year to be the staff ace with Worley, and Kendrick filling two of the remaining 4 spots for 2013 and beyond. By no means am I saying Worley and Kendrick are the caliber of Hamels, but both have shown they are capable pitchers.

I don’t know what to expect from Howard once he returns from injury. Hopefully he is able to approach 30 jacks and 100 RBI the next couple seasons. Offensively other than Howard, the only pieces the Phils should consider moving forward with are Pence, Victorino, and Ruiz. I wouldn’t mind Mayberry either if he is in a 4th outfielder/back-up 1B role, but Rollins, Utley, Pierre, Galvis, and Polanco are not long-term solutions. They shouldn’t even be next year solutions.

So the question is this: Would Philly consider trading aces to fill the everyday holes at 2B, SS, 3B, and LF? Trades that could potentially lay the foundation for a new run of success.

I guess we’ll find out exactly what GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is really made of sooner rather than later. I would hate to see Halladay, Lee, or Hamels dealt, but if Ruben got core pieces and prospects to fuel this team as Howard, Utley, and Rollins did a couple years ago, I would have a hard time disagreeing with the move.

4 replies to “Will Philly Be Trading Aces?

  1. Amaro seems to be good at trading crap prospects for top veteran talent, but I wouldn’t have any faith in him trading veteran talent for prospects. He has shown no prowess whatsover. I like your idea of trading Halladay or Lee and resigning Hamels as he’s younger and likely has a lot more innings left (although you never know). You could see this year coming from a while back after they gave Howard that crazy deal and then for some reason brought back Polanco and Rollins who have both been declining yearly FOR 5 YEARS! The NL East looks so tough this year that trading Victorino and an ace to try again next year would be prudent, but little they’ve done since 2007 has had any thought for the future so we’ll see.

    1. Yeah.. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Amaro’s “Billy Beane-ness”. If the Indians were able to get Carlos Santana for Casey Blake, surely the Phillies can do something like that with Jimmy Rollins. Get up and coming, ready to contribute talent now for the pitchers (Halladay and Lee.. even Papelbon).. get supplemental pieces that can play next year for Rollins. Free up cap space by unloading those guys.. sign Hamels and Victorino.

      As Garth once said, “It almost seems too easy… “

  2. Heck yeah…the Phillies are America’s team – mortgaging the future to pay for the present baby! Unfortunately, even we fans saw this coming…just, like the management, didn’t expect such devastating injuries to our offensive core. A couple things –
    1. Trade Hamels – NOW! Guy’s great but it’s the Perfect Storm to be, or trade, an ace lefty right now and they don’t have a prayer of signing him with all the albatross contracts they have. The Dodgers are ready to spend. Matt Cain, a pitcher not the caliber of Hamels, signed for monster dollars. Plus, Hamels has the virtue of not being too injury prone and the fact that he relies so much on his changeup – a pitch shown to “age well.”
    2. I think it’s interesting that no one is talking about trading Ruiz…I think it’s the perfect move right now if they admit they’re out of it for the season. His value will never be higher, he’s 33, and league-average catchers are generally pretty easy to come by. If you could get a B or A grade prospect for him..I think that’s brilliant. And, fans like him, but they’re not going to stop coming if he gets traded.

    Anyway, nice blog. I’ll retweet it for ya..

    1. Well. Howard is back. Utley is back. The supplemental pieces are now in there proper places. Halladay should be back right after the all-star break.

      Brings to mind two questions:

      1 – Are the stars aligning for Philly? – (I realize they would still need to make a crazy run)
      2 – Even if it shapes up right before the deadline where it seems Philly will miss the playoffs, should they still blow this thing up? Yes, Hamels and Victorino are the only pieces that could walk in free agency, but is there a possibility that its just a rotten year? Not getting the ball to bounce your way type stuff… I mean Cliff Lee win-less until last week, Halladay getting injured, bullpen being completely helpless…. Even good teams need breaks to go their way to make it all the way to the World Series.

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