Rumors! Rumors! Rumors! It seems Philadelphia has been the melting pot for all MLB trade rumors the past month. With about a week left before the non-waiver trading deadline, the Phillies still are expected to play a big role in how the pennant chase ends up. This year, in contrast to the past five, the Phillies’ input will be that of a seller in crunch time.
There have been many moves rumored the past month, and most centered on pitcher Cole Hamels. However, this week, ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated the Phillies are going to make an offer of more than $130 million to Hamels, and that Hamels might actually sign, which would take the biggest name off the trade market.
Of course, now that it looks as if Hamels is staying, other Phillies names have been brought up by the local media in trade talks. An obvious key need for the Phillies is at third base. Placido Polanco is on his last legs, and it does not appear the Phillies’ front office believes they have the answer in the minors, so Chase Headley has been brought up as a possible addition. One rumor is the Phillies will send outfielder Hunter Pence to San Diego for Headley and a prospect.
This would give San Diego a star player and would set up the Phillies at their need position for the future. It is doubtful the Phillies will make a move at this point, but getting someone like Headley and/or bullpen help may make it worthwhile.
Shane Victorino also has been a hot topic in Philadelphia. His playoff experience and defense is going to attract many suitors. If the Phillies think Domonic Brown is ready to come up, or if they are comfortable with the idea of Juan Pierre playing center field, Victorino is the likely starter to be traded. In an ideal world, the Phillies would be able to get prospects in return for Victorino and starter Joe Blanton, and then bring up Brown to gain experience at the major league level.
The Phillies, most likely, are not going to make the playoffs, and it may be a better play for them to sell off some of the players that made them a winning franchise in order to try salvage what is left of the core of the team. Pence could be a major contributor for them for the next couple of years. The next week could be a peek into what the Phillies will look like for the next decade.
Buckle up because it is going to be a crazy ride.