Are the Phillies buyers or sellers?

Open discussion question today. The trade deadline is 2 weeks away. Should the big league club be buying or selling? If they are buying, what prospects do you think should be considered off limits? Keep in mind, you normally have to give something to get something. In my mind, the Phillies are constructed to “win now”, in the sense that much of their talent is at its peak or getting close to its peak, and they aren’t really in the beginning of a 5 year plan or something like that where they have a bigger window of opportunity. So, what do you think? Who shouldn’t be traded?

44 thoughts on “Are the Phillies buyers or sellers?

  1. I think the main guy you can’t trade is Carlos Carrasco. At such a young age he has probably the best stuff of anyone in our farm system and is already pitching very well in Reading. He could possibly be the Number 2 or 3 starter next year behind Hamels. With so many young pitcher prospects however, you have a lot of teams that might be interested in some of them.

  2. They’re constructed to “win now” in the sense that the most important players are in their early prime years. But the key word IMO is “early.” Utley and Rollins are 28, not 32.

    In 2009, those two guys will be 30. Howard will be 29. Hamels will be 25, Myers 29, Victorino 28. Aside from Eaton, whom I presume will have gone Pavano by then, all the burdensome contracts and obligations (Burrell, Gordon, Helms, the Thome money) will be off the books. Carrasco probably will be up and hopefully effective, we’ll know whether or not borderline prospect/suspects like Costanzo and Golson are players, maybe Savery will be ready.

    Obviously I wouldn’t get rid of any of those pieces, other than arguably the last two guys in the right deal, to bring in a guy like Kyle Lohse or even Matt Morris.

    But the Phillies’ problem is that really they don’t have much to either buy or sell. Whether or not the system is really “bare,” that’s the perception; read Keith Law’s piece from yesterday on espn.com. Unless the Red Sox decide they need Aaron Rowand and are willing to part with a top prospect for him, I don’t think we have anything other teams will especially want. (Dealing Barajas for this year’s model of Hector Made doesn’t count.) Alfonseca? Helms? At best you’ll get a fringe prospect for either.

    No, I suspect the Phillies will “Stand Pat.” Which maybe isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  3. I would NOT trade Cardenas, Carrasco, Outman, D’Arby, Pfinsgraff. Anyone esle, sure. This year I have been saying why not ship Brett Myers to Colorado for Fuentes and Atkins. I mean he is locked up and the Rockies could replace Atkins with their other 3rd base prospect. I think that this trade could do more for us than Myers in the bullpen. I also think this would be fair considering Myers record at Colorado. He seems to pitch fairly well there.

    I pray for the day we trade Barrajas. God I hate him!

  4. Neither. This team is unlikely to win this year, but it can win next year. It shouldn’t be selling its key parts, nor should it be acquiring short-term fixes which will all come with high price tags.

  5. This is a .below .500 third place team from a division unlikely to produce the Wild Card and a team that is several SP short. Don’t buy. I agree, not a lot to sell either. If you can get significantly more for Rowand than the value of the draft picks and the team is further back at the deadline, then I guess he can be traded. That likely will hurt ticket sales, though. If Gillick could get really lucky and move Gordon, that would be a big salary plus for next year. The only reason the Phillies are likely to buy is to be able to say they tried and hope that keeps the ticket sales up. It really is a waste of resources though, and hurts chances to win next year.

  6. If I were Gillick, I’d be dangling Rowand to the White Sox for Contreras or Garland, especially since Rowand is about a 50/50 shot to come back at best, and will certainly be demanding more than he’s worth.

    That being said, I’d place the following guys off limits:
    Carrasco, Cardenas, Outman, D. Myers, Mattair, Savery and D’Arnaud.

    There are a few other guys that would be in the “we’d better be getting a damn good pitcher” category, headed by Costanzo, Mach, Pfinsgraf, Jamarillo, Marson, Donald and a few other guys. This category is obviously dependent on who the Phils would be getting in return.

    - Jeff

  7. The problem with trading Rowand back to the White Sox is that their only incentive would be to try and secure him before he reaches free agency and not to have to surrender picks to the Phillies. Is that enough to get them to give up something worthwhile? I doubt it.

  8. This is a question for everyone . What Pitchers in our system can make Opening Day Rotation next year ? Moyer will be gone , Eaton is no more then a 5th starter. Myers is the closer,But if he goes back to the rotation we need a #3,and #4.

    Who is it ?

  9. Cardenas, D’Arby Myers, and Carlos Carrasco should be off limits. Perhaps the best prospects to trade would be Michael Bourn or JA Happ. We don’t need another speedster in this lineup. We’ve already got enough speed with Victorino and Rollins (and Utley, to a degree – he’d steal more if Howard wasn’t hitting behind him). Re-sign Rowand and trade Bourn or Happ to the Rockies for third-baseman Ian Stewart, who’s blocked at just about any position the Rockies could move him to other than second. He’s hitting .296 with 11 HR for their triple-A club, and could be the future of the Phils at the hot corner. Forget Costanzo, whose plate discipline in Reading is only just now starting to improve. My favorite trade chip for Rowand or Bourn to the Padres is gone (Andrew Brown went to the A’s for Milton Bradley). Who else could Bourn or JA Happ be traded for?

  10. I highly doubt the Rockies would even entertain anything like Happ or Bourn for Stewart. They love the kid, and the fact that Atkins is blocking him may not even prevent him from finding a spot on the team (seeing as how Atkins is a very bad fielding 3B). However, I think it’s come to the point that we’ve got to resolve the hot corner situation. Our outfield has options right now, and all the other infield positions are basically set, but we’re still without an everyday guy at 3rd. Pursuing a guy like Stewart is a good place to start, but like everyone’s been saying I just don’t see what we have to offer to get him.

  11. Wasn’t Atkins originally a first-baseman anyway? Todd Helton could be on his way out if the Rox are sellers, shifting Atkins over to first and letting Stewart come up to play third. We don’t need a lot of pop out of our 3B spot, we’ve got Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Burrell and Victorino to a lesser extent, who can pop one out. Stewart doesn’t have much left to accomplish at triple-A, however, so the Rockies need to make a decision soon, he appears major-league ready. What about trading one of those “untradeable guys” like Pfinsgraff, Mattair, Outman, Myers, or D’Arnaud in order to get the Stewart kid and perhaps Brian Fuentes? What about trying to get Al Reyes from the D-Rays? At any rate, our 3B and bullpen are the only areas you really need to address. The Phils need to make a decision soon. Trade Bourn if you can get a valuable piece and are confident you can re-sign Rowand.

  12. Replying to your question Phil Phan, I would have to say that your best chance to fill out the rotation should be Kendrick based on what he has done so far this year. He may not be a real good #3 but as a #4 I would be happy if he could continue to do what hes done so far this year. He hasn’t struck many people out but he keeps em in the game and with there bats he keeps getting the wins. The other pitchers who have a chance to be the last pitcher would be Happ, Durbin and Carrasco. Carrasco is obviously the best pitcher of the three but with his young age you want to make sure hes ready to come up. Hopefully they sign someone who can fill the spot if not we may be stuck with Happ or Durbin until Carrasco is ready. I would love to see Hamels followed by Carrasco in a year or two. That could last for ten years and hopefully some division titles.

  13. Don’t forget about Kendrick and Savery, though Kendrick could be at least two years away. Savery could help the Phils out by the middle of next year, or at least be a September call-up. Also, don’t forget about Mathieson, who’ll be recovered from TJ surgery.

  14. Although I agree in the statement “were built too win now” Our needs to get into the post season by far out weigh our assets too trade for something to get us there. I know we really dont have much too trade even too be sellers. The thing I see is, if were not going to sign Rowand to a contract then see what we can get for him even if its better than the draft compensation we would get for losing him then i say take it. We can also see what BP items we have that other teams may be interested in. I just think we have to bite the bullet and get what we can for next year and HOPEFULLY get some help in the offseason. We are losing a lot of salary and should get some compensation for them.

  15. Is Jesus Merchan seen as a real prospect?
    Jesus Merchan – Leading the Eastern League in hitting with a .356 batting average in 48 games. Only struck out eight times in 163 at-bats. Hitting .410 on the road. His on-base percentage of .422 is third best in the Eastern League.

    Someone on a Cardinal’s board was drooling over him, hoping to increase team speed in a trade.

  16. Jeff O’s list of “off limits” prospects is a pretty good one – I might add Mathieson to the “you better get a good player if you trade him” list. My view is that they should be careful buyers. In fact, if they were more creative, I think they would have some interesting opportunities. Usually, when we think of mid-year trades, we think of dumping quality prospects for a short term gain, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Other teams have used mid-year trades as a way of picking up players that have either become too expensive (see Mark McGwire and Bobby Abreu) or whose contracts are going to soon be up for their present team (Scott Rolen) and you don’t always have to give up great prospects to get these guys if you’re willing to take on salary or negotiate a new deal. But doing this takes a financial commitment and the Phillies seem to lack this commitment – but these deals are almost always out there. By the way, I think dumping Rowand is stupid unless you get a 1, 2, or 3 starter. If you get a 4 or a 5 starter or an acceptable reliever for him, what you gain in pitching you’ll lose at least as much or more in the hitting and defense Rowand provides as an every day regular AND you’ll be unable to get the draft pick compensation you would receive if Rowand walks after the season is over. Contreras would not be a good trade for the Phillies in exchange for Rowand – it would constitute the second fleecing of the Phils by the White Sox in a year.

    One final point. The Phils pitching situation is pretty bad, but it’s not as bad as it looks. Gordon and Myers should come back and provide some help (they should be patient and let Myers come back as a starter – if he can do it, from a statistical standpoint, there’s no question he’ll be more valuable in that role). In addition, it should be clear to anyone who watches the team at home that the park adds about a run to a run and a half in a pitcher’s ERA (the stat heads can give us an exact number – but it’s significant) – so some (but certainly not all) of the bad pitching is a bit of an optical illusion.

    By the way, having seen Happ pitch it would seem to me that he definitely has a future, but he’s just got to refine his command and, perhaps, master an out pitch. But he’s got a nice riding fastball and a good breaking curve. He could end up being a number 3, but he’s not so good that I would refrain from including him in the right trade for an established starter.

  17. I don’t think so – he’s just demolishing AA pitching. He’s 26 and in double-A. I’d call him organizational filler. Maybe the Cardinals think he could be a useful MLB-caliber player. It all depends on what you like.

  18. I only considered that the Phils would be in the market for some arms. I didn’t consider that they would look to grab a 3B, Why can’t they just promote Carl Henry? Doesn’t he compare himself to A-Rod and Jeter? 8^/

    I’m still in favor of trying to move Rowand first. I don’t know how much he’ll net in return though, since he is potentially only a rental for most teams. I still think the W. Sox make the most sense since he seems to be worshipped there. Bourn could be the centerfielder and leadoff, and let us know if he can be an everyday player.

    I think the Phils definitely seem to have a surplus of speedy guys that they could trade to teams who want to get faster: Moran, Berry, maybe Roberson. Hell, maybe they could sell someone on Golson’s “tools”

    - Jeff

  19. Thanks for the article – yeah, it doesn’t surprise me that the Phillies’ pitchers get more hammered at home than their opponents do – other than the Cardinals (whose pitching is just wretched), I think the short porches hurt the Phils more than their opponents because their pitchers are definitely worse. I also think that when you have a small park your pitchers can become gun shy and lose effectiveness because they stop challenging hitters. This is what happened for years at Coors Field until they started freezing the baseballs before the games (or so the rumor goes).

  20. I also agree with Jeff O about moving the speedy guys for an arm – that works for me. And I’m not categorically opposed to moving Rowand since it’s not clear he will sign after the year is over, but I am just concerned that we’d really have to get the right guy(s) in return given his importance on offense and defense and particularly in light of the fact that he is the only real righthanded protection that Ryan Howard has in this line-up – this has made him very valuable. If they trade Rowand for a reliever, given the Phil’s history, it could be the type of trade that, one day, we will be mentioning in the same breath as the Polanco deal. Not good.

  21. I still think the right move at the beginning of the season would’ve been to put Adam Eaton in the pen – he was willing, and statistically speaking, the first two or three innings kill him. Once he gets warmed up he’s very very effective and stays on top of the ball. That would’ve kept Lieber in the rotation, as well as Myers. Myers is by far more valuable to us as a starter, not as a reliever. A rotation of Hamels-Myers-Carrasco-Eaton-Kendrick wouldn’t be so bad. But then again you’ve got nothing at all in the bullpen. Anybody know of some good minor-league RP? I still think the Phils should try to re-sign Rowand and find a taker for Bourn or Pat Burrell, although they’d have to eat a large chunk of the latter’s salary. I have no doubt Happ will be effective, he had an awesome season last year. I just think that given the depth of the pitching in the Phils system, one less pitcher wouldn’t hurt them a whole lot in the long run.

  22. Please allow me to apologize (up front) for this lengthy commentary but I believe that this topic is, by far, the most important to this organization’s future.
    —————————————————————————-
    I would love to believe that this team really has a chance this year and that acquiring a couple pieces (pitchers) would put us over the hump but deep down, I do not believe it. Also, anything that could “really” help us would cost us more than we “should” be willing to give up (we all know the names that we would most likely regret losing) and if there is a marquee pitcher to be had, other teams are in a better position to deal than we are.

    This team is more deficient in pitching than they have been the last few years and they did not make the playoffs in any of those years. Also, what we have, that someone might be interested in, should be much more valuable in 2009, 2010, etc., whether to our team or as future trade bait; i.e., I feel that WE SHOULD NOT BE BUYERS!

    Furthermore, I do not believe that we should basically stand pat, outside of a few minor moves to unload some baggage. Also, we should not make trades for short-term fixes to make the appearance that “we tried to get better players but this was all that we could do without gutting the organization”.

    What that basically leaves in my mind is that WE SHOULD BE SELLERS!

    If this was my team, everyone on the major league roster the AAA roster and the AA roster would be trade bait to improve our chances of success in 2009 and beyond. The EXCEPTIONS would be:

    Phils: Hamels, Myers, Utley, Howard, Rollins & Victorino as “untouchables” with Rowand, Zagurski, Madson, Kendrick, Ruiz, Dobbs and Bourne as trade bait for ONLY better, long-term additions & solutions

    AAA: Happ, Castro & Mathieson (DL) would be “untouchables” with Bisenius, Merchan & Jaramillo as trade bait for ONLY better, long-term additions & solutions

    AA: Only Carrasco would be “untouchable” with Maloney, Costanzo, Golson & Jacobs as trade bait for ONLY better, long-term additions & solutions

    Since we are “Sellers” in this scenario, I will not go into detail on High A and below, but I will mention that there should be a few untouchables in: Outman, Donald, Cardenas, Myers, Drabeck, Bastardo, Savery, D’Arnaud & Mattair.
    —————————————————————————-
    With the even greater demand for pitching this year, we may be in a position to secure + value in return for our pitchers. Both Eaton & Moyer may be attractive to a contender that is starving for another starter. Alfonseca should, and possibly even Mesa would, have some value. Romero has not pitched that poorly and he is a lefthander. Also, if Gordon throws well or even just hard in the next 2 weeks, there is no doubt that he will attract attention. Myers appears to be the future closer, so why not try to steal a “true prospect” for a soon to be 40 year old pitcher.

    I realize that your first reactions may be to say that, if we trade all of these pitchers, we are clearly saying to the fans and the rest of the team that we can not win now and that we are giving up on this season. My answer to that is: possibly but not necessarily. We are not in a position to land a Dontrelle Willis or even a Zack Greinke without giving up one of the aforementioned “untouchables”; i.e., the alternatives will most likely only cost us now and in the future; one mediocre starter &/or a mediocre reliever will not make the difference.

    Try to be realistic about what we presently have in the starting rotation:

    (1) Hamels – GREAT but still a kid that could possibly take a step back at anytime
    (2) Moyer – progressively getting older & progressively pitching worse
    (3) Eaton – inconsistent; will never live up to his abilities & with an ERA approaching a potential career change
    (4) Kendrick – EPIPHANY! – losing pitcher in AA with limited abilities; how long can this last
    (5) Durbin or his replacement through a potentially costly trade

    How many wins can we realistically expect in the 2nd half of this year from any starting pitcher that is not named Hamels? Why not attempt to trade everyone, especially the pitchers, that are not untouchable for quality prospects and then “rush” the kids a bit (Happ, Carrasco, Outman, Castro, Maloney, or other pitchers that we receive in the trades)? I know, it could disturb the psyche of one or more of these kids but it also could be beneficial for them and I would not be surprised if the Phillies wound up with the same number of wins with these talented kids vs. staying pat with their present rotation. In fact, it would probably prove to be very beneficial in 2009 and beyond! Remember, the core of this team (Hamels, Myers, Utley, Howard, Rollins & Victorino) is still fairly young!
    —————————————————————————-
    Last Comment: begin negotiations with Rowand on August 1st; attempt to sign him for multiple years but without a no-trade clause; we can not go into next year without a viable, right-handed bat

  23. I’d call Boston and ask if they are intereted in Ryan Howard. I’m sure they would be. I’d want Mike Lowell back plus 2-3 of their young pitchers. They might even want Rowand and then we can get a young OF there too. Don’t laugh at this idea. It’s what the Phills really need. And one of the only ways to get it. This Masterson guy in AA would have to be one of the pitchers included in the deal. There’s many to choose from. Boston’s upper levels are overflowing with prospects. Gillick and Theo would have to go back and forth to get the right mix. That’s my solution.

  24. Wow, that is quite possibly the worst trade rumor I’ve heard. You trade Howard, not only do you trade one of the best first basemen in the game, who do you replace him with? What the Phillies really need? I think you’re a BoSox fan for even saying it.

    Only way you could even consider trading Howard is if you had a viable first-base prospect, and we don’t. Don’t say stupid stuff just for the point of saying it. Think it through.

    Anyway, the only untouchables I have are Carrasco, Cardenas, Outman, Drabek, Galvis and Myers. Anyone else is expendable in the right deal. BUT the player we get would have to be more than a one-year fix. We’re not going to win this year, so it doesn’t make sense to even slightly mortgage our future for one season.

  25. I meant in the minor leagues, of course you’ve got the core nucleus of Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Hamels that are untouchable in the MLB.

  26. I must say I am enjoying this spirited debate.

    The discussion of whether the Phillies must be sellers or buyers raises what is to me a pretty important issue that some of the contributors seem to touch upon and which highlights the ultimate problem with the penny wise/pound foolish Phillies.

    I believe there are probably a few ways in which the Phillies could really take the team to the next level. One would be a scenario in which, over the next year, the Phillies acquire through trades and free agency players that are really premier players. Not the Adam Eatons and Gil Meches of the world – but the real players – guys that help you get to the playoffs and win a world series. This is the model that the Dodgers, Cubs and Mets use and which, up until very recently, the Yankees used with great success.

    Another option would be to trade valuable but non-essential players this year to get a group of minor league studs together – you could add a selective free agent or two to fill in the gaps. You would also get your butt in gear and overpay the draft picks that were supposed to go to college – you would get them on board by going outside of what the insiders at Major League baseball want the team to pay in order to keep salaries/bonuses intact. Basically, this is the model that the Tigers use (and which the Brewers and Red Sox now appear to be using) and, to my mind, it’s the best model.

    If history is any guide, the Phillies will not employ either of these models. They won’t use the Mets/Dodgers/Yankees model because it means that they’ll have to overpay. They are not going in this direction. And guess what, they won’t use the other model because: (a) if they do this, they’ll have to write off this season and they are enjoying the short term benefit of packed houses far too much to sacrifice this; (b) they believe they can outsmart everyone by picking up some bargains and filling the gap that way; and (c) as an organization, they really have no recent history of picking up good prospects from other teams (really, the only guy they’ve gotten in 10 years is Abreu and he was a finished product at the time) and I think doing this puts them out of their comfort zone.

    So what will they do? Probably what they’ve done in prior years. There will some activity, and maybe we’ll get lucky, but I doubt they’ll make any move that will make you think that they’re wise, insightful or even properly daring. Overall, they will likely make changes at the margins (I hope I’m wrong!).

    So what will the result be? Well, unless they step it up, I think they’ll miss the wild card by 2-5 games. Sound familiar folks? It’s getting VERY old.

  27. Noone is going to give us anything better than a #1 and #3 Draft Pick for Roward as a Type A Free-Agent.

    Would you trade something better than that? Aside from a Vasquez or Garland for Rowand + prospects trade it is not going to happen. Making it less likely is the White Sox are already having Payroll creep issues leading to their possible sell off of Pitching.

  28. and they are not going to sign Rowand and his CBP inflated stats for 8 + million dollars a year when they have payroll problems.

  29. I knew I wouldn’t have time to check in today very much, this went perfectly. Nice work guys.

    As for Walt’s suggestion, it’s certainly not the worst thing you can do. League average first basemen are plentiful, though I wouldn’t want Mike Lowell in return. Give me Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson and Lars Anderson for Howard and I’d pull the trigger.

  30. If ROWAND signs with white sox we would only get a 2nd round pick because they will finish in the bottom 15.So a trade may be better for us. Just a thought.

  31. I have to say that I am pretty much shocked that everyone is so willing to even consider a trade of Ryan Howard. Howard is a player of extraordinary ability who probably has as much or more consistent opposite field power than anyone in the history of the game – I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he is unique, but he is extremely special . There’s no guarantee that he’ll continue to be this good for a long period of time, but I think he will. In fact, I suspect he’s going to make a run at 70 home runs a few times in his career and he has a chance to be one of the greatest home run hitters of all time. He changes games. He’s entertaining. By all accounts he is a great guy. And he’s just entering his prime. He’s the type of player you dream about having on your team and he can’t be free agent for over 4 years.

    The whole point of building a great and entertaining team is to acquire and keep young players like Ryan Howard, not dispatch them. As far as I’m concerned, in order to even consider trading Ryan Howard, someone would have to make the type of deal the Cowboys (yes, I hate them too) made when they traded Herschel Walker. Short of that, if you look at the history of baseball teams trading future Hall of Famers at their peak for prospects, by and large, the team that traded the Hall of Famer came up small. If you want some names, see Tom Seaver, Mark McGwire, Curt Schilling, and Frank Robinson. There are others, but I think I’ve made the point. They would be nuts to trade Ryan Howard and fortunately for the rest of us, I can pretty much guarantee that they are not going to do this.

  32. Sell. This team doesn’t have the pitching to win, and they’re not going to get anything significant at the deadline. When a team is dead last in ERA, it has no shot.

    I’d look to trade Rowand to the Cubs of the Red Sox. You might be able to get Matt Murton or Brandon Moss back. Then go after Carlos Zambrano in free agency.

    I wouldn’t trade Cardenas or Carrasco.

  33. People, we cannot trade Rowand unless we replace him with a Right-handed bat! Trade him, fine, okay but WHO do we replace him with?

    I think we should trade Rowand for bullpen help and go after Dye in the off-season. Moving Vic into centerfield, Dye in right in CBP should compensate for Rowand’s departure. I wish the Phillies would break the bank for Carlos Zambrano but I know they won’t.

    Also, there is a lot of talk about the Yankees making a few deals.
    Would ANYONE trade for Farnsworth? I also hear Scott Proctor is available but I think Dobbs and or Bourne would be required.

  34. This team doesn’t have the pitching to even imagine a scenario where we can make the playoffs this year, and that’s not going to change with a short-sighted trade. Short-sighted trades are the reason we don’t have gio gonzalez right now (although, to be fair, I didn’t hate that trade at the time. I’m not an MRI machine, however.).

    That said, the Good Phight (with which I’m not affiliated) had a nice breakdown of a good strategy yesterday that I recommend everyone read. Basically, it’s that we trade anything of value–Rowand, Alfonseca, Barajas, Helms, and, if he’ll let you, Moyer. One can make compelling cases against trading Alfonseca and Helms, but I’m with everything else.

  35. I don’t know where you came up with santana either.

    I am open to trading rowand even though I love his grit. I think it could get us an up and coming OF or maybe a RP, either way, I’m ready for Bourn to play full-time.

  36. Don’t see why we can’t trade Rowand and why another team wouldn’t want him. He is a rental who brings draft picks if not resigned. For Phillies, the advantage of a trade over the draft picks would be getting nearly developed minor league talent closer to the bigs than the draft picks and not requiring large bonus payments. Rowand needs to be replaced for 2008 in any case, can’t see the Phillies resigning him or him agreeing to return. Since we are a .500 team well into the second half of season, all he provides for us this year is a hint of respectability (maybe 85 wins instead of 80).

  37. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but trading Ryan Howard may not be a terrible idea. I am going to expect the hate responses now. I am not saying that we SHOULD trade him, rather we should always be open to entertain offers for him. I think a lot of people saying that we can’t trade Howard is because he is a fan favorite, but one thing to understand is that its Utley who is the better hitter, not Howard. So giving up your 2nd best hitter for essentially the farm? I would do it. Theo Epstein did this years ago with Nomar who at the time WAS The Red Sox. What he got was a cache of players that he was able to develop and retrade again to build a baseball empire. If we can get a few good arms for Howard. I’d be willing to do it.

    My frustration with the Phillies comes from their organizational strategy. I hate the idea of trading young players like Howard so I am hesitant, but they always trade away their best prospects for nothing. Gio Gonzalez for a pitcher that has a fourth as many wins as Kyle Kendrick.

    Our farm system could be dramatically better, it just seems like some teams always have someone they could call up and fill in the spots, and the Phillies never do. I am also displeased with the fact that our team is hitting based, and not pitching based.

    ::sigh::

    For those calling for Gillick’s head thats silly. While the Garcia trade was TERRIBLE, Gillick has a track record of success. We just need to wait till Burrell, Thome and Gordon come off the books. We hold onto our core of players. And develop our young starters in our system.

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