With the continued struggles of the Philadelphia Phillies aging offense, we take a look at a few potential trade targets, as well as what it might take to acquire these players.
- Hunter Pence, OF, Houston Astros: Batting .317 thus far this season, with 8 HR and 45 RBI. This may be a little far-fetched due to his current production, age and salary. Houston is a struggling franchise with not many bright points outside of All-Star Pence. The Phils are pushed right up to their salary constraints, and some question whether they have what it takes to land Pence. Something along the lines of Jonathan Singleton packaged with a Vance Worley would likely be the starting point in any conversation.
- Carlos Quentin, OF, Chicago White Sox: Batting .270, with 17 HR and 46 RBI. Quentin’s availability has been in speculation, but he would have to be near the top of the wish-list for Philly management. He’s a young 28 years of age, and would bring that much-needed, right-handed protection for Ryan Howard. Acquiring Quentin would be a tough task, as well, most likely requiring a similar package to that of Pence.
- Josh Willingham, OF, Oakland Athletics: Batting .234, with 10 HR and 40 RBI. Willingham might be the most-affordable option of all three at this point due to a lower salary hit and current production. The Phillies are very familiar with Willingham, having seen him in past years with the Marlins and Nationals. There were also rumors of multiple trade talks between the Phils and those organizations for the acquisition of Willingham’s services in the past.
If the Phillies offense continues to struggle, don’t expect management to sit back much longer. Surging teams such as the Braves and Marlins threaten the division title, which the Phillies certainly don’t want to surrender. It’ll be interesting to see what occurs in the coming weeks as we creep closer to the trade deadline. The Phils would be smart to act sooner rather than later to protect the division lead, as well as the asking price on many of these players. As of now, Phillies hitters decide their own fate — and the trade winds may continue blowing if the bats don’t start producing.