Do we have any “untouchable” prospects?

As you may know, I try to keep this site geared towards prospects and resist the temptation to complain about the big league club (or praise them, for that matter), and try to stick to just talking about minor league action/the draft and stuff like that. But this is a very relevant topic, and it broke out in the Clearwater Report, so I figured I’d give it its own service here. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this, so here is your chance to weigh in. Depending on how the Phillies play over the next 6 weeks, they could be looking to make a trade for a starting pitcher, though right now the rotation looks solid. So that begs the question, who would you trade and who would you not trade in our current minor league setup, and for who would you trade them? Let’s take a look at our most tradeable assets.

Carlos Carrasco – Carrasco was our #1 prospect coming into the season, and for the most part, he’s pitched well in AA at only 21 years of age. He probably still needs a season in the minors, but he’s close to big league ready, and offers #2/#3 SP potential, nothing to sneeze at.

Adrian Cardenas – Cardenas was around our Top 3 depending on who you ask, and he’s improved his stock this season by raking in the FSL as a 20 year old. He’s probably not going to win any gold gloves at 2B, but he should stay there, which keeps his value very high. There are so few quality 2B prospects in baseball that he will be a very valuable trade chip, should the Phillies decide to move him.

Josh Outman – It would seem the Phillies aren’t looking to move in, instead they will probably bring him up within the next month or so to provide a 2nd lefty for the major league bullpen. He doesn’t appear to be a trade chip.

Jason Donald – Donald had the “needs to prove it at AA” label coming into this year, and so far he’s proved it, showing good plate discipline and some extra base pop while playing short stop at Reading. Scouts seem to doubt his ability to stay at SS long term, but 2B could be an option, as could 3B. The Phillies haven’t moved him to 3B yet, and the team trading for him could keep him at SS for a while until he proves he just can’t handle it. His bat is probably close to ML ready.

Joe Savery – Savery came into the year high on many prospect lists and has had an up and down season at High A. The upside is still there, but he’s not as close to ML ready as many people thought, and has probably lost a tiny bit of his trade value. He’s certainly not in “throw in” territory though.

Lou Marson – Marson is arguably our most valuable trade chip. As a 21 year old, Marson has raked at AA, hitting close to .350 and drawing walks, along with emerging power. He’s also been plus defensively, and is continuing to improve. He’ll end up at the top of the heap among all minor league catching prospects, and of course catcher along with shorstop are the two most important positions on the defensive spectrum. As reader dajafi has pointed out here, Marson is starting to resemble Russell Martin, and Martin is considered the best catcher in the NL and one of the best catchers in baseball.

Greg Golson – Golson’s stock has jumped up this year after his big start, though he has cooled off a bit. Scouts have always loved Golson because of his package of tools, but the pure baseball skills haven’t really shined through. He’s still hitting close to .300 this year, he’s already hit 7 HR, but he’s only drawn 13 BB in 264 PA, so that part of his game still hasn’t come around. He’s a plus plus defensive CF, and the tools will still draw interest in a trade. Golson is still a guy who could turn it on and become a superstar, or he could flame out, the same risks that come with every high ceiling, toolsy OF. However with his good first half, he’s out of the “throw in” category as well.

After this list of guys, it would seem we have lots of guys who could be complimentary pieces, guys like Matt Spencer, JA Happ, Fabio Castro, and Brad Harman.

So the question is, if you were to acquire CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets, what would you give up? What would you give up for 2+ months of these guys? What would you give up if you were able to sign them long term? What would you give up for a guy with 2+ years of service time left before free agency? Are there any guys you wouldn’t trade? Discuss it here and lets keep it out of other postings.

124 thoughts on “Do we have any “untouchable” prospects?

  1. My #1 no-trade is Marson. He looks like he will be an above average major league catcher, and we will need him soon in majors, so to me a no-brainer not to trade him. I would also put Carrasco on this list, since he looks to develop into a middle of rotation starter and could be in Philly next year, when he will be badly needed. I wouldn’t trade Savery. Not because he has done all that well, but because that would be selling low. If a trading partner valued him greatly, I guess I would trade him. He hasn’t impressed to date. We are years from having a spot for Donald and it is unclear he will be a major league regular, so I would trade him in the right deal. Outman is a harder choice, but in the right deal I would move him. I am still a Golson doubter, his swing can look just awful and this has been his first sustained success, so in the right deal I would move him. I am not eager to move any of these guys, since they will have an impact in Philly within a couple years, when they will provide increased budget flexibility. Our tea planning strategy needs to look beyond just this season.

  2. This is a very good report. It shows that the Phillies indeed do have what it would take to get a piece or pieces to put them into the World Series this year. The calls of this organizations minor league system being so bad are greatly exaggerated.

    I would also add Jason Jaramillo as a complimentary piece, with the dirth of catching in the majors, he could help somebody in a 2nd catcher role.

    One other thing, I watched Marson play a few times and I think he could play in the majors right now. Would anybody be adverse to including a Carlos Ruiz in a deal to get a Sheets type pitcher

  3. Don’t touch Carrasco, Outman or Savery. Keep your young pitchers. Cardenas and two complimentary pieces should be enough to rent a pitcher for two months.

  4. For Sabathia or Sheets (long-term deal not just a few months) I would trade anyone except Marson. He is the only guy who you know is going to be an impact player in the big leagues and is at our only weak spot in the lineup. True aces under 30 are impossible to find and with Hamels, Sabathia/Sheets, Myers we would be set for a while in the rotation.

  5. I would consider anybody that is a top prospect that plays in the middle of the field untouchable, unless they were blocked by someone who is young enough in the majors and has a long term deal (Utley in both cases). Of course, they could trade Howard and move Ut to 1st, then there wouldn’t be a block for a Donald or Cardenas to play 2B.
    1. Marson (obviously Coste and Ruiz are not a long term solution)
    2. Cardenas (2b scenario mentioned above)
    3. Carrasco (Moyer, Eaton and Myers come off the books in the next 2 years, we need someone who can step in)
    4. Golson (Vic can play anywhere in the OF and Werth is not a 162 game player)
    After that the guys are pretty interchangable. Even if Donald can’t cut it at SS, does anyone really think we will re-sign Rollins after his current deal runs out? I believe its 2 years from now, and he’ll be on the wrong side of his peak years. That would seem to me we need a SS somewhere who can take over in 2-3 years.

    This all goes out the window of course if the brass decides to put all its chips in to win this year with Lidge, Durbin, Burrell and Moyer all scheduled to be FAs at the end of the year. All of my scenarios are 1-3 years out so…

  6. when is the last time a phillies prospect got traded that he turned into a star anyway? Was it Julio Franco?

  7. Hey guys, long time lurker here. Love your stuff.

    I say empty the entire system and go for broke, meaning no one is untouchable. I am a prospect-head for all sports so I am normally against this, but you have to think that we would be the favorite in the NL with one more good pitcher.

    The success of this depends on if they spend the money to rebuild the system afterwards, win or lose. A Howard trade a few years later helps this. I have no faith in management rebuilding the system though. This would hurt in the long run big time, and we are stuck with a 30th place system again.

  8. So far Gillick has moved guys like Baldwin, Barb, Maloney, Gio, Floyd and Dubee for Moyer, Lohse. Garcia .and Iguchi. For more pitching it looks like he would give a list to pick to rival GM’s that would contain the likes of Castro, Bisenius, Happ, Monasterios, Cruse, Savage , Bear Hill etc., either pitchers acquired from other organizations or in house draftees who do not figure in plans here. I doubt he would offer any position players for pitching nor would rival GM’s want any position piece Gillick would put on the list to select from.

  9. My problem is the value. There is no guarantee that we can re-sign Sabathia or Sheets, and chances are, if we do resign them its going to be at deals that are well overpriced. All of the prospects we’re talking about have 6 years of cost controlled service remaining. Will adding Sabathia on July 31st really greatly improve our chances of winning anything? The playoffs are a crapshoot, to some degree. Is the upgrade from Eaton to Sabathia worth giving up 12-16 years of service time in 3 of our best prospects? What if we don’t win the World Series? Will it have been worth it to trade 3 of our best prospects, in a system that really only has 5-6 potential impact guys, for 2 months of production and then take 2 draft picks?

  10. Well he hasnt pitched a whole year yet but Gavin Floyd has started to come around he might not be a star but a serviceable #3/#4. Im not worried about that except we threw him in for a guy (Garcia) who was hurt and gave us nothing but poor outings.

  11. I would put Marson on the no-way list, unless something ridiculous is offered for him. I’d be willing to part with anyone else to get the right player. And I’d trade Ruiz too, but I’d bring Jaramillo up as the platoon guy, and maybe consider a September call up for Marson.

    – Jeff

    p.s. I’m going to the Reading game on Father’s Day, and I’m legitimately excited about seeing some of the players that we spend so much time blathering about.

  12. I do not believe any player should be totally untouchable. There should be players you try and not trade (Marson) but in the right deal (Halladay, I just love this guy) no one should be untouchable.

    If we get a rental player we would get comp picks for him, especially for CC. I don’t about Sheets given the injuries and bedard has another yr. Burnett is going to opt out so I don’t know if we would get comp picks. How does opt outs work? For CC we would get back some prospects in the comp picks so that would be nice. What is the breaking point to where we would be losing too much? 4 Prospects/5…6?

    Our farm is not that strong and we will surely be in competition against other teams like the Cubs and possibly the Yanks for a CC type pitcher. Could we out bid them?

    **I’d perfer to keep Marson/Brown/Naylor

  13. First, there is no such thing as untouchable. Everyone has a price. Everyone. The only question is what’s that value and can a team match it.

    Second, you have to ask the question James is asking, “Will adding Sabathia on July 31st really greatly improve our chances of winning anything?” I believe that the answer is a resounding Yes! This is a game of statistics and thus probabilities. As you get to the higher levels, the margins are thin. The difference between winning and losing is often very small. The difference gets even smaller in a 7 game playoff series where you get rid of a starter and pitch 3 guys twice (some times one guy 3 times a la Randy Johson coming out of the bullpen in game 7 to win the world series). Also as you get into the playoffs, you go against top hitting teams and weaker pitchers get exposed. Thus, in a 7 game series, the difference between and Eaton/Moyer and a Sabathia (twice) can be the difference between 2-0 and 0-2 or 1-1.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Marson. I fully understand the value of production out of the catcher position. However, I also fully understand how hard it is to land a Cy Young caliber pitcher in their late 20s. Hitting is fun to watch, but pitching wins championships. That is undisputable. Of course, my willingness to trade a blue chipper like Marson depends on not renting a player. Only a fool would say/do otherwise. And fankly, Gillick was foolish in the Garcia trade.

    Let’s look at two recent examples. How badly would the Yankees like a do over on Santana? How good is Danny Ainge looking for trading all of his prospects to complete the big 3. The next 3-5 years are the peak of our hitters. Adding a stud starter to compliment Hamels and Meyers and set up our great pen while our position players are in their prime makes a ton of sense. Assuming it isn’t a rent-a-player.

  14. Yeah I wasnt sure of the timing of Sandberg, if he came before or after Franco. It throws me off knowing that Franco was 67 years old when he last played. Who went first, Sandberg or Franco?
    I believe the jury is still out on Floyd for me. I watched most of his almost no-no and still there was this part of me that thought at any moment he could implode and give up 4-5 runs without blinking.
    Still that Garcia deal was horrible…I remember them saying that he was barely hitting the mid-80s at the end of the ’06 season and he had a “tired arm”. We all found out it wasnt just his arm that was tired.

  15. Not sure anyone is good enough to be “untouchable”. Depending on the trade of course, but I wouldn’t want to see the Phils trade guys like Marson, Cardenas, or Carrasco unless they can get a high quality starting pitcher that won’t bolt after a 1/2 season.

  16. I say your prospects are your future, and trading them is not worth the crap shoot. Unless you are getting a bona fide year-in-year-out Cy Young Award candidate then you are throwing good money after bad. Look at all of the small market teams with low payrolls that suceed.

    The Rays and the Marlins both come to mind for me since I am in Florida, but there are other teams as well that build from within their farm systems and tend to have FAR lower payrolls and a more than a small amount of success. The Marlins have twice as many WS Trophies as the Phillies in about 10% of the time, and for the most part they build from within.

  17. Marson’s untouchable. I want to go on record saying I don’t like a rental unless the selling team is having a fire sale and all the other firefighters are away at a convention. I would especially hate to trade Carrasco for a rental. Cardenas, Donald (but not both) are expendible. Golson could be traded for CC or Ben. I like Outman as a starter. As a reliever, I’m not sure he’ll make it. I’d include him in a trade. Savery should be kept because the discount on him right now isn’t worth the upside potential. Brown, Taylor and Naylor should not be auctioned.

  18. I believe the prospects are our future, teach them well let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
    Let the prospect’s laughter remind us how we used to be

  19. I would be actively seeking to trade Golson while has has some value. At best, he is Corey Patterson.

  20. Agreed with Jeff Crupper. I’d much rather see the phillies use their money to bust slot with their drafts to get a few more high ceiling guys year in and year out. I don’t like the idea of trading young talent for an expensive rent a pitcher who wouldn’t increase their world series chances all that much – yet would cost you loads more money for diminishing returns. The key to baseball is to keep pumping good prospects up through your system. Maybe the phillies are finally getting this?

  21. I have to respectfully disagree with your examples Jeff Crupper. The Twins and the A’s are better (IMO) examples of lower payroll teams who build from within, but there are also bad examples – Pittsburgh and KC, and Front Office Incompetence plays a big role in that as well.

    Prior to this year, the Rays have been generally awful, despite a lot of high drafting (and they take the Phillies approach of high-risk athlete – they just seem to have more success). As for the Marlins, they’ve won two World Series, but the first one was a veteran team (although they had some youngsters like Renteria and Counsell who had a huge contribution) assembled purely for that year – and then they followed by starting a shameless fire sale roughly ten days after they won. The 2003 championship team was primarily built from withing, but again, that team is pretty much gone too. I’d hate to have to start from scratch every five years.

    Again, no offense intended. Besides, I’m against selling the farm for a championship. I’m definitely up for some well executed trades – and Gillick has made some nice ones at the deadline the past few years (ignoring the Abreu fiasco of course, but Iguchi and Moyer were two crucial ones for the teams success)

    – Jeff

  22. Damn. I re-read my email after I clicked send, and it was a train wreck. Serves me right for typing it over a 30 minute period while trying to work.

    Basically, what my intent was that I disagreed with Crupper’s examples, but not his philosophy.

    The lesson, I’m an idiot.

    – Jeff

  23. The Braves system was the model for years and years. They routinely showed you how it was done. You keep the prospects that you feel can be A type players for you and trade any of the rest for veterans to help you win. In the Phillies case, you keep guys like Marson, Carrasco, Savery, Naylor, D Brown and offer up guys like Golson (4th outfielder?), Donald (2nd divsion player), Harman (utility guy), and Outman (set up guy) although not all together obviously. Trades can work when the other team thinks more of our 2nd tier prospects than we do. The challenge will be when Cleveland calls and says it will take Carrasco, Golson and a throw in to make a deal. I don’t do that deal for Sheets but for CC….

  24. cardenas golson donald harman spencer castro

    whatever combo it would take if it would get a CC or Sheets, the big goal is winning a WS, and to be honest I would love that… we have always had the offense no doubt, our Bullpen is one of the best in the majors, cough Gordon cough…. A big time name would give us one heck of a playoff rotation, if we make it, with cole, unless Brett Myers morphs back into form suddenly, I think this is an after thought, Gillicks last hurrah, he isnt standing pat this time…. We should probably just get ready to say goodbye to a few of these guys cause this time the package isnt going to be Bourne, Costanzo and Maloney caliber…..

  25. The answer to this question depends on what you are getting back in the deal. You don’t trade your top prospects for Sabbathia unless you can also sign him to a contract extension, Like the Mets did with Santana, BEFORE the deal is finalized. If you can get a CY caliber ML pitcher for the next 4-5 years then I have no problem moving guys like Cardenas/Carrasco/that deal. If he’s a 2 month rental, then the value in prospects that you trade drops down a notch.

    The only player I’d really have a hard time dealing at this time would be Marson based on the position he plays and the depth of the Major league roster.

  26. Just to further what others have said…..the guy i would never trade is marson because of the dearth of a number 1 catcher in the bigs. I would also not trade golson because he is our only impact outfielder who is semi-close to the majors. Remember, we have to replace pat burrell in the lineup next year caues he is gonna command too much money to keep.

    For some reason I am not completely sold on carrasco, so I would be ok with putting him as the center of any deal for a good starting pitcher.

  27. I would not trade any of the top 4-5 prospects. Years ago players did not play into their late 30s and I expect that most pitchers even cy young type pitchers will start to show a lot of wear and tear after 30. CC is at his physical peak and the man looks like he is pushing 300 pounds. That is not a frame that I’d want after 30. So the answer for CC is a no on both cases.

    And Sheets…when is the last time he was healthy for two months? The man is a no go from the start.

  28. How about this. Would you trade Carrasco + Cardenas + Dominic Brown for Bedard? Bedard is under control for 2009, and after that you’d have to sign him long term.

  29. If you could guarantee me a WS (remember 1 in 125+ years) then I’d sell my Aunt May to get it done. That being said, I’d like to keep in this order (Marson, Carrasco, Cardenas). All others to me should and would be available. With no team destroying everyone else and the big club playing as well as it is (well at least before the last 2 days) I do believe that Sheets, Sabathia or Bedard could put us over the top. Sorry but a rotation of Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Kendrick and Eaton does not compare to the Red Sox, Angels, Cubs or D’backs and I’m thinking ahead to postseason rotations. Hamels vs anybody’s 1 is close to even, but once you get to Moyer vs (Dan Haren, Matsusaka, Lackey et al) that’s where we’ll undoubtedly lose. We also have to remember that Utley, Howard, Rollins aren’t getting any younger. At some point their window will close too.

  30. Hmmmm, I actually think that Brown is more of a prospect than Golson at this poing – so I’d try to steer them towards Golson rather than DB (maybe by saying “Whew, we were afraid you were going to ask for Golson. Greg’s a Hall of Famer. There is NOOOO WAY we would part with him. Anyone but him.” And, no, I don’t think that would work).

    I’m with some other posters – I don’t think Carrasco is a star-quality pitcher, so I would make that trade for Carrasco, Golson, and maybe a lower ceiling guy like Berry, Happ, Castro, etc if they want some more.

    – Jeff

  31. First off, I don’t like trading position prospects for pitching, and maybe it’s loyalty because I thought he’d be good before he was on the “radar”, but I would not trade Dominic Brown. Young left handed hitters who already have good patience, project to have plus power, and with the athletic pedigree of a Miami football scholarship do not exactly grow on trees. I’d love to see Burrell signed to a 3 year extension and have Brown patrol LF full time starting in 2012.

  32. “Would you trade Carrasco + Cardenas + Dominic Brown for Bedard?”

    Ya know, if it came down to it, a hefty CC with tons of inns on his arm or Bedard who has only made 30+ starts once, I would go with CC actually. I think CC will never last the length of his next contract, but I think he’ll still give you more starts than Bedard will.

    So no I wouldn’t do it for Bedard.

  33. At first I was inclined to say that I would make that trade for Bedard because we’d have him for another year at least. But looking at his numbers for this year–especially the declining K/IP rate, I’d say no. If he were pitching like last year, sure. An ace-caliber pitcher for at least one and a half years in exchange for three top prospects? I think that’s fair, especially given the ages of Rollins, Howard, and Utley. There’s a small window for the Phillies to take this team over the top…

  34. take away one start for bedard on may 23rd and his era this year is 3.16, actually a hundredth of a point lower than last year. take away his may 12th start too and his era drops to 2.29. he has 8 quality starts out of 11 on a very bad team.

    Still don’t want to do it?

  35. Yes, I would do Carrasco + Cardenas + Brown for Bedard, if and only if, the Mariners would take a fourth player: Adam Eaton. Throwing in Eaton would roughly equalize the salaries exchanged over the next year and a half, plus he would be the odd man out if the Phils added Bedard to the rotation.

  36. The two I’d tag “untouchable” are Marson & Carrasco. Both of these guys fill needs of the club and are only 1 maybe 2 years away from stepping in. Ruiz is proving he obviously isn’t the long term answer, & with Moyer, Eaton, & Myers being question marks on their futures with the team we will need to fill some holes. Would you rather us over pay for a glorified 5 (like Eaton) or fill the holes from within.

    Also I’d like to hold on to Golson, at worst he can be the 5th outfielder, who is used as a defensive replacement & pitch runner. Like Bourn was used last year, he has the speed & the glove to do fill that role.

    Cardenas is an interesting prospect, we have Utley at 2B but he could slide to 1B in a couple years if we want to move Howard. I’d have a hard time moving him, but again if you want to get something you have to give something.

  37. I think people are judging Bedard too harshly. I have the MLB package and have been watching the Mariners play lately anticipating Gillick making this move and that team has NO offense. Give him a team that score a ton of runs and he’d be fine. With Gillick going out after this year and his “ties’ to the M’s, i can see him making this move and I’d be fine with it. Just don’t trade too many young guys.

  38. Carrasco, Cardenas, and Marson probably can’t be traded. The Phils need young non-arbitration eligible players to help lower payroll in the future, especially if they are starters. As of now, I believe either Burrell or Howard won’t be in a Phillies uniform next year. And I just can’t see the Phils letting Burrell go. Where else are you going to get a right-handed bat like that?

  39. Trade Howard for C.C. straight up and sign him for 4 years.
    2009 starting 9:
    C: Coste/Marson
    1B: Utley
    2B: Bruntlett/Donald
    SS: Rollins
    3B: Feliz/Dobbs
    LF: Burrell (signs 3 year deal as HH metions)
    CF: Vic/Golson
    RF: Werth/Jenkins
    SP1: Hamels
    SP2: Sabathia
    SP3: Kendrick
    SP4: Eaton
    SP5: Carrasco
    RP1: Lidge
    RP2: Romero
    RP3: Madsen
    RP4: Durbin
    RP5: Zagurski
    RP6: Mathieson
    RP7: Condrey
    How does that sound? it would be good if we won a WS as well…

  40. I know this is a prospects discussion, but the last post was the first to realize that howard will not be a phillie for long and will indeed be traded. What team out there would trade a big bat for a big arm? I guess everyone needs pitching so this might be a long shot…

  41. It is interesting to me how many of us are now on the MARSON bandwagon: good call James!

    I would like to ask the group how excited we all would have been had the Phillies landed Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis (or both), prior to the beginning of this season. Willis is younger & Zito is a “more proven commodity”, when compared to the 3 pitchers (Sabathia, Bedard & Sheets) being discussed as potential acquisitions. Zito & Willis are proof that there are never any guarantees, regardless how good the acquisition appears to be.

    Based on the aforementioned, I guess you know where my thoughts lie!

    I would love to have any of the three and would probably prefer Sheets but I am not a believer in trading the future for a “SHOT” at the present; especially, for a “rental”. In fact, none of our TOP prospects should ever be traded for a “rental” (see: the Yankees & Abreu as an example of how it can be done).

    I know that the goal, every year, should be the Series but we are not Boston, Detroit or the N.Y.’s; i.e., we are never going to be able to “buy” a championship; i.e, we must build & maintain a strong minor league system to insure that we have a chance and are competitive EVERY YEAR!

    Nothing is worse than enduring a season without any hope at all and we Philadelphia fans have seen more than our share of these. Also, having a strong system is half of the fun in this sport; we are always excited about our next potential superstar. Since rarely is our excitement rewarded to the degree of our expectations, it would be nice to have a multitude of potential superstars vs. having one or two.

    With all of that said, ..IF.. we are reasonably sure of continued success and ..IF.. we are assured of multiple years from our acquisition and ..IF.. we are convinced that the trade makes us better both now & in the future ..then.. ALL personnel should be considered in any trade.

  42. rediculous:
    1. how would either seattle or cleveland be able to pay howard, but not bedard or cc?
    2. i know this is a blog about prospects, but why would you rather trade a 28 year old who is 1 and a half seasons away from being the league mvp and has unprecedented production in the first few years in his career than a few minor leaguers who may or may not have a productive career let alone make an all star appearance or gasp, become league mvp. that is plain silly.

    if anyone goes due to salary, it is burrell not howard.

  43. If you think that its ridiculous that Howard could be traded you’ve got your head in the clouds. Obviously Howard wants a lot more money than the Phillies are willing to give him. Seattle’s payroll is much higher than the Phillies, and when Sexson’s contract runs out after this year, Howard could fill that void if they move Jeff Clement to DH.

    Burrell is going to command between 11-13M a year. Howard wants 18-20M a year if he signs a long term deal. Bedard has 1 year of pre FA time left, Howard will have 2, so that gives Howard a bit more value than Bedard. I think in a deal like this, you could get more than just Bedard for Howard.

    And lets face it, its tougher to find a #2 SP than it is a power hitting 1B. Over the next 5 years, even though pitching is riskier than hitting, I’d rather have Bedard. I have a sneaking suspicion that Howard’s fall from grace is not going to be pretty, considering the type of player he is.

  44. I think there’s pretty broad agreement on this issue and that a lot of people are saying the same thing in a different way.

    To answer James’ question: yes, I would do that deal. I would try to point the Mariners to Golson instead, since he’s more “MLB-ready” and their lineup needs help yesterday, but if they insisted on Brown instead I’d pull the trigger.

    Bedard is actually the perfect target because he’d automatically be one of the Top-3 most talented starters on the trade block, plus he’s under team control for 2009. I share the reservations of those who fear that giving up the farm for 2 months of Sabathia isn’t sound business, but with the 2-3 year window this team has (if that), essentially exchanging your minor league value for major league value is the right move.

    So that begs the question: who (potentially) on the trading block is team-controlled past this year? I can think of Bedard, Harden, Blanton, Meche, Arroyo, and Greinke if the Royals decide to shop him. Of those, I’d only really want Bedard and Greinke, and I’m not sure if we could entice either the M’s or the Royals with enough.

  45. I agree with the assessment on Howard. While we all love the long ball, its not what wins championships (see Josh Beckett). $20 million can be spent much wiser than that, especially when our POOR ML club is in such a small market and on a budget like they are!

  46. I know it’s all fun speculation, but would the M’s trade Bedard after trading Adam Jones+ for him? Obviously, if the return is Ryan Howard, that’s one thing, but more young guys? I dunno.

  47. I’d put Marson on the untouchable list, with Cardenas close behind. If the Phils can get a piece that makes them a WS favorite this year, they have to go for it. If they stay aggressive in the draft, they can easily rebuild there next year. Unfortunately I don’t see them bring PTB back and probably not Lidge. If that happens you’re looking at the Phils 1st pick and two picks each for Burrell and Lidge. This might be the time to make a run at it.

  48. any player who hits a hr every 11 at bats is rarer than a #2 SP

    I’d be terrified of trading Howard. This lineup is predicated on the dynamite in the middle of the order; if you took that dynamite out, this lineup wouldn’t be nearly as intimidating. I think we have the prospects to significantly upgrade this rotation without trading any of our core players.

    Keep: Marson, Carrasco, Outman, Drabek, Bastardo
    Trade: Savery, Cardenas, Harmon, Jaramillo, Naylor, Happ, Donald, Sampson, D’Arnaud, Brown, Myers, Galvis, anyone else

    If Golson has real value, I’d consider dealing him, but at this point, he’s probably worth more to us.

  49. There are other options available to “replace” Howard. You can move Burrell to 1B. That removes the need for him to be a 7 inning player. Adam Dunn is a FA. Why not sign him and put him in LF? He’ll hit 40 HR in 2009. He might not get on base quite as much as Howard, but hitting in our lineup, maybe he will. And all he’ll cost is cash and a draft pick. Giving up that pick would suck, but it will likely be in the mid-late 20’s anyway.

    If you give me the option of keeping Howard and paying 20M a year for Sabathia, or trading Howard for Bedard, moving Burrell to 1B and signing Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez to play LF, I’ll take the latter every time. But thats just me.

  50. false…howard is a void in the middle of our line-up and again, its not that anyone wants to trade him, but the phils MUST trade him to get some kind of value for him (albeit not until the off season or next year). Marson has to stay and i believe Cardenas is in the same boat with howard not sticking around. We are soon to be lacking power on this team though which is such a weird concept.

    If they can get proven pitching for Carrasco and Golson i think they have to do it

  51. i agree with baxter (as i often find myself doing). i don’t think you guys realize how rare and valuable howard’s stats are. his run producing numbers in the first few years of his career are among the best ever in the game. i know he struggled at the beginning of this year, but i don’t think that he is exactly having a “fall from grace.” he is tied for #5 in the league with 49 rbis and 10th with 15 hr. but most importantly, he is one of he few players in the game that when he is hot, can absolutely carry a team.

    futher, if he is 2 years away from FA, he ain’t getting 18-20 mil per year for at least a couple of years.

  52. I would neither sign Howard long term nor trade him. I think he is suffering under the pressure of his first big, contentious contract as Burrell did and will rebound next season. He should be good, not great, value at arb $. When he is in his FA year I would keep him if the Phils are in contention, as we hope, and offer arb. Likely he leaves and we get two picks.

    I would not trade Carrasco – Cardenas – Brown for Bedard. I would trade Outman – Donald – Golson.

    I would trade Ruiz.

  53. As long as we are speculating on getting young talent for Ryan Howard–how about Howard to the Royals for Zack Greinke, Alex Gordon and Jose Guillen? Again, the latter is thrown in to equalize the salaries somewhat.

  54. I also do not look forward to the future prospect of having neither Burrell nor Howard in the lineup. It will not be easy to replace 70 doubles, 250 walks and 80 to 90 home runs a year. The 300 combined strikeouts a year we could probably live without.

  55. Manny isn’t going to be a FA, Boston will pick up his option.
    I think the Phills should go after Giles or Winn and put Burrell at 1st. If we could get a guy hitting .300 in the OF I think we could still score a ton of runs.

    I would trade for CC- Any 3 of Cardenas/Donald/Golson/Carrasco/Savery/Bastardo/ Jaramillo.

    Trade Howard,
    Sign Burnett OR Garland
    Sign Winn OR B. Giles (might have to trade for them)

  56. If Carrasco can join the rotation in mid 2009, I don’t see the point in trading him. For me, Carrasco and Marson are the only real untouchables. With about a dozen other tradeable prospects who aren’t part of the Phillies immediate plans, I just don’t think either of those two need to be involved in a major trade.

    What about Roy Oswalt? Ed Wade could take his pick. How about Myers, Cardenas, Savery, Jaramillo for Oswalt? I know he’s struggling this year, but he’s been pitching better lately and I’d like to take my chances with him in a short series.

  57. Greg Dobbs would have similar if not better numbers to Howard if he took Howard’s place in the lineup at first this year if he hit in front of Rollins, Vic and Utley every game. And he broke in as a first baseman so he would not be a liabilty in the field as Howard is. Howard will wind up in Boston eventually to take big Papi’s place anyway. So get rid of him for Bedard and win it all now!

  58. i love these “arguments”/discussions.

    I’d be fine with trading howard, assuming we could find a suitable replacement. Suitable to me is .260 30HR 100 RBI’s for $10 million a year. Get that player, whoever he is and keep Burrell and get another #1 or 1A. While Howard’s stats have been fantastic and off the charts for power numbers he’s also old for his service time. he’ll be 29 this offseason. Does anyone really want to spend $200 million on him? As we move closer to his FA years he’ll be less and less tradable.

  59. Howard is hitting around .280 for the past month..I still think he’ll heat up and end the season around .260 45 hr 130 rbi…

    I’m not dead-set against trading Howard, but not for Bedard. I’m not even sure Bedard is a #2 pitcher. He has the potential, but the desire and consistency are lacking. I’d expect an enormous return for Howard, something like the Marlins recieved for Cabrera and Willis.

  60. did you honestly say that “Greg Dobbs would have similar if not better numbers to Howard if he took Howard’s place in the lineup at first this year”? dobbs can’t even replace feliz in the regular lineup.

    for those of you who don’t think that we will re-sign howard, name some examples of a star player that was traded away from a big market team, that is currently competitive for a championship, in the prime of his career as a salary purge (i.e. not a big contract for another big contract at another, more needed position). has that ever happened in philly sports history? i can’t think of anyone. all of the time that a star player is run out of town it is because: 1. the team needs to rebuild; 2. they are past their prime; 3. we are overloaded at that position and need to balance out a line up but bring back an equally big contract.

  61. actually, all these arguments for trading Howard are exactly those I make for signing him. I’d try to sign him NOW, for a discount. Once he relaxes, he’ll probably go on a tear. He’s a special player, and I’d expect a level compensation that assumes he’s a future HOFer. If I can’t get that, I’ll take my chances with him.

  62. Let’s get back on topic here, guys. I keep thinking about Boston trading some serious prospects to get Beckett, and that worked out pretty well for both teams. I’d be hesitant to trade the works for top notch talent (especially a rental), but Philadelphia needs a championship dammit!

    Although, after all of the “trade Howard” discussions, maybe we should consider Jeremy Hamilton untouchable…

    – Jeff

  63. many star players have been run out of philly. but not a highly productive one on a competitive team for purely cash reasons. if i am wrong, name one.

  64. “many star players have been run out of philly. but not a highly productive one on a competitive team for purely cash reasons. if i am wrong, name one.”

    Jeremiah Trotter

  65. How does this trade sound next offseason: we send Howard to the Angels for Joe Saunders, Kendry Morales, and Brandon Wood. Saunders seems like a legit #3 SP with a decent ground ball ratio. Morales hits for a high average with decent power and doesn’t strike out a lot at all. Wood does strike out a lot, but he could hit 30 HR’s a year and considering he used to be a SS I would assume he could play a plus 3B.

    Garrett Anderson will be gone next year, so the Angels will need a DH and Howard will be a huge upgrade. They’ve been looking for another big bat for a while. Morales is blocked at 1B by Kotchman, and Wood would be a luxury considering they have Figgins at 3B and Izturis at SS. They also have Adenhart coming up who can replace Saunders.

    If we can find a taker for Feliz to make room for Wood, even if we have to eat 1-2M of his 5M salary next year, this trade will save about 15M. This will definitely allow us to re-sign Burrell and Lidge and go after a pitcher like Derek Lowe, giving us a rotation featuring Hamels, Lowe, Saunders, Myers, and Kendrick/Eaton (can’t hurt to have 6 SP’s), while not even raising our payroll past what it is this year. Our starting pitching would be much improved and our lineup would strike out less while still not losing much power.

  66. Does anyone have any thoughts on Sam Walls? He seems like he could get fast-tracked now that he’s already in Reading, given the numbers he put up in clearwater. I’ve read that he’s mainly a fastball and cutter pitcher.

  67. Please don’t trade Lou Marson!

    Beyond that, I’m not a fan of trading Howard. How many guys can slump and still knock in so many runs? He’s still a huge threat when at his worst–at his best, he’s Barry Bonds. Well, almost…But if he prices himself out of our range, well, that’s life.

    Goslon is my favorite trade bait, though I like his speed and defense. But how many seasons in a row can he fail to adjust his approach? But like others, I think he’s still worth hanging on to because he can help you even with a .300 OBP in a pinch runner, defensive replacement role. If someone wants to overpay for him, go for it.

    I would also hold onto Taylor, Cardenas, Donald, Naylor, and Berry. But since Cardenas and Donald both project as second basemen, I would understand trading one of them if someone is dying to have him.

    And I think Jaramillo is better than his current stats, so it’s unlikely to get equal value for him at the moment. I also appreciate Ruiz.

    Just don’t trade Marson, please!

  68. I forgot to mention in my post awhile back that the Phillies philosophy regarding trades, I think, is still the same today as it was under Pope Owens:
    Keep the cream that’s risen to the top of your system. Trade the milk to fill your needs, especially pitching. Use the skim milk to sweeten the deals.

  69. Great point, CharlesBuchinsky. When was the last time the Phils traded the “best prospect in their system”? Or even one of the top three guys? Maybe Gio Gonzalez was close, two winters ago.

    Of course, they also haven’t been (or perceived themselves to have been, more’s the point) this close to a title in awhile. But Gillick seems to me like an opportunistic trader. I don’t think he’s going to empty out the farm; at most, he might deal one of Carrasco, Cardenas and Marson, and of the three, I would guess Cardenas might go since he’s at the position of least need among the three.

    The problem is that today’s “skim” might be tomorrow’s “milk” or even “cream.” We don’t yet know just how good Dom Brown might be, or even D’Arby Myers. The Phils have a bunch of guys in the organization–particularly after last week’s draft, assuming they sign Hewitt and Collier–who are baseball lottery tickets; they’ll either never “get it” or suddenly turn into superstars. Guys like that–and Golson is in this boat too–both have relatively little trade value, because they don’t have the numbers to justify fan excitement after dealing away a Sheets or CC, and the most risk of making a GM look truly dumb five years down the line.

  70. PP Fan,

    not traded, but the late Great Reggie White left for Green Bay in his prime. Damn you Norman Braman.

    on a more positive note 45 year old jamie moyer is pitching a 2 hitter. I know it’d never happen but I’d love to see him in the all star game. How cool would it be to try to see the AL try to hit his junk!

  71. I think we should keep what we have and build from within. Why pay dearly for a 4 or 5 spot rotation guy. Especially if he leaves after the end of the year. (Maloney for Lohse) or give away good pitching for someone a toss away from the disabled list (Floyd and Gonzales for Garcia) Even the Yankees have learned to grow their own. Why trade Marson , then give away more prospects down the road for a 2nd rate Catcher? As for Cardenas… He will only get better. He has talent. But, more important he’s baseball smart. We need to keep what we have.

  72. Perhaps minor league outfield prospects would make the best trade bait along with a pitching prospect. The Phillies may have had this in mind by taking three outfield prospects at the top of their draft. Michael Taylor is a possibility. He never quite lived up to the gaudy expectations flung upon him in h.s. and college. Even his rookie year at Williamsport was “good” but not spectacular. He is spectacular this year, but it’s Low A. He’ll be in Clearwater in a couple of weeks. Gus Milner is producing at Hi-A. Jeremy Slayden is blossoming at Reading. Golson has tools but is risky enough to let some other team give up a pitcher for him. Matt Spencer is putting up good numbers again after a poor May. He ihas a high ceiling and is also a pitching prospect who threw serious gas in high school. Baseball America reported he touched 95 as a setup man at Arizona State last year. Dominic Brown has a “can’t miss” tag applied to his back and is playing above Low A level. Now, will at least one of the three draftees pan out? Probably so.
    I think a couple of these current minor leaguers can be packaged with a “live arm” to land a big name hurler in Philly. Just a thought.

  73. Or we could eschew the big name, and just get a hurler…like: Eaton, Greg Golson and Brad Harmon for Randy Wolf.
    This deal wouldn’t interfere with the Oswalt trade I proposed earlier and leave the 5 prospects I wanted to keep.(Bastardo, Outman, Carrasco, Drabek, Marson) Our rotation would look pretty solid:
    08 09
    Hamels Hamels
    Oswalt Oswalt
    Wolf Wolf
    Moyers Kendrick
    Kendrick Carrasco

    there’s a staff you can win with…and getting it didn’t require trading any core players or prospects in our immediate plans. it wouldn’t even significantly increase payroll…If you wanted to keep Eaton, Wolf could still be acquired with additional prospects…

  74. The problem is who will put us over the top?

    *Wolf- Love him when he was here, but he ain’t winning us a WS
    *Arroyo- Big game pitcher, controlled through 2010, is he enough?
    *AJ Burnett- Power Righty, may or may not be available
    *CC/Bedard- We know already
    *D. Cabrera- Why not this guy? Yeah he doesn’t excite you like a CC does, but his arm is lively and he would br the exact thing we are missing, Myers, a power righty.

    Anyone else? Can we net these guys. I feel like we match up with the Os really well. Cardenas+Savery+Donald for Cabrera? Seems almost there but not quite.

  75. randy wolf would be a homerun machine in this park.I think every phillies fan knows that they will not pay howard and utley will go to first and cardenas or donald will play second they will not paid big money for a pitcher so why dream remember we are a small market according to giles.even though we are the fifth largest market and the second biggest without two teams,so if you want to dream go ahead they will try to add a low budget pitcher or relief

  76. Here is a thought, for those who don’t want to trade prospects for a big time piece to the puzzle. The Phillies took alot of high risk signability guys in last weeks draft. By all accounts they have signed a few of them already. I wonder if they plan on putting out more money in signing these guys because they know they are going to have to empty out AA in order to get that piece they need to win a World Series. By signing most of this years draft class they could then replenish the farm system. Just a thought

  77. I know we need a pitcher now but to throw the future away now is useless. I think Golson will take over on CF in 2 years. I think Marson is a beast and could be behind the plate middle of next year. They need all the young pitchers that we can get. Hamels, Myers, and Kenderick will be the only ones here in 2 years. Savery and Carrasco will have to be our other pitchers. The last thing is something from Left Field, but i think Utely will move to first and Cardenas could be playing second base. I think the big club doesnt have the resources to keep Howard. They have played Utley at first a couple of times. I really think trading the their core minor leaguers is not in the best interest of the club. I think they could get Bedard and maybe not have to part with their best minor leaguers.

  78. Section 113 that is way too much for Cabrera. Up until this year the guy has been an engima and even this year I wouldn’t consider him pitching great.

  79. -JimBob-

    Is it too much for Cabrera? Do we over-value our guys? What has Savery done? Donald is nto a blue chipper and the jury is out whether he’d be a utility man or everyday guy, and then the one true chip in Cardenas, for a young cheap right hander controlled for a couple of yrs.

    What’s wrong with that?

  80. Wouldn’t other teams be more interested in sure things in a trade as opposed to prospects?
    I dont think trading Howard should be considered a salary purge, his presence in the lineup is not helping.
    The thing I don’t understand is it seems like Howard’s approach to the plate has changed. He never stays in for the pitches away and his head is never planted where it should be, which causes him to wave at the inside pitches. I don’t know enough about what he does off the diamond, but to me it seems like his preparation is not there. I don’t think his bat would be missed in the middle of the lineup. There are too many swings and misses. You would think he would realize how many rbi’s he has with how poorly he has done, he would try to work harder to correct his flaws.
    If it came down to:
    1.) Pay a .200-.250 with 40, 120, and 200Ks for $20M a year and trade your top prospects for rentals or
    2.) Pay a .300 w/ 20, 90 and better defense for $10M + a $10M 2-4 SP (Lowe, Bedard, etc.) and keep the Cardenas’ and Carrascos’.
    I would do the second scenario in a hearbeat.

  81. The ideal trade is one like the Abreu/Lidle deal where the other team is primarily interested in dumping salary and willing to accept a few B- prospects as eyewash to disguise the salary dump.

  82. Honestly, Marson is the only guy I’d be super pissed about losing. Golson, Carrasco, Savery, Cardenas, Donald are nice to have but I don’t see any of them as potential All-stars like Marson. As this could be a very small window of opportunity for the Phillies, I’d say make a move if it is possible and not brutally overpriced.

  83. anyone who would trade howard is insane. at the end of the season he will have 45 to 50 hrs, 125 to 140 rbis. and to anyone who thinks this organization does not have the money to sign howard i have a large bridge to sell you. seriously trading any of the major cogs on this team would destroy its important chemistry. its more simple than you realize we need another lefty in the pen outman/bastardo and another starter. bring up carrasco. boom you have a ws.

  84. Howard has 15 HR in 291 PA, or 1 every 19.4 PA’s. If he ends up with 675 PA (average of 2006 and 2007), he’d end up with 19 more, or 34 for the season. Thats not 45-50. He might get hot and reach that mark, or maybe not. He’s going to want at least 15 million in arbitration this winter, and we may have already seen his best season. His comparables, which you can find at Baseball Reference and Baseball Prospectus, are not a pretty sight. He could deviate from these guys because his career path is kind of unique, or the decline may be under way. Its interesting to note that since teams started employing the shift against him in very late 2006, his BA has plummeted. I didn’t expect him to hit .315 in the majors, but the shift robs him of lots of base hits, and it appears to have affected him at the plate in general.

    I’m not advocating trading him from peanuts. But I think in the next 2 years, his salary is going to surpass his actual value and worth.

  85. As for untouchable players, in my view, the only ones I see right now (aside from this year’s picks) are Marson and Cardenas. I would also be reluctant to trade Michael Taylor because, frankly, I don’t think anyone really knows how good he is or is going to be, but there aren’t a lot of players around hitting .365 at any minor league level.

    As for players I’d really rather them not trade absent a very good deal, the list is much longer and includes: Carrasco, Bastardo, Donald, Golson (at least right now), Outman, Savery, Harman (he’ll get hot this year, just keep your eye on him), Naylor, Mattair, Durant, Bolt, Spencer and Galvis. I could really care less if they traded Jaramillo – there’s no room for him in the long run.

    On the topic of Howard, it’s really dangerous to take a very productive player and analyze his value when that value is at it’s lowest ebb. Many superb power hitters go through what Howard is enduring right now (admittedly, however, with fewer strikeouts). If you don’t believe me, just check out the stat.s of Mark McGwire (.202 one year) and Frank Howard (I think one year he hit about .219 for the Dodgers), or even Pat Burrell (.209 in 2003). My concern with Howard is that he is becoming a bit of a legend in his own mind and is now seeking far above his market value. It is hard to admit this, but the Phillies have apparently handled his contract situation pretty well and it looks like he really overplayed his hand – they probably offered him close to $100 m over 6 or 7 years and he rejected it out of hand. In retrospect, he probably should have taken that.

  86. Allentown, . I am not really overvaluing our prospects I just don’t think its smart to give up 3 prospects for a guy like Cabrera who is extremely inconsistant. How good the prospects are is debatable. I think a Cabrera is worth a Kyle Lohse type prospect, which would mean a JA Happ type

  87. One more thing about Ryan Howard. I think we need to keep in mind that, in many ways (both good and bad), Howard is unique. In 2006 I thought to myself that I had never seen a player hit so many opposite field home runs. I wasn’t imagining this – Bill James has made note of it too as he had not seen anyone hit so many home runs that way.

    What this suggests to me is that Howard has a truly unique ability – the ability to go with virtually any pitch and hit it out of the park. In the last year he became unnecessarily pull happy, but I think he is working hard to fight that. My guess is that he will work through this (at least to some extent) and, when he does, we will see something approaching the 2006 edition of Howard. I also don’t think it’s crazy to suggest he may hit 45 homers this year – if he gets hot (and he probably will), he could easily end up in that range, just as he did last year.

    Let’s give Howard a little more time to dig out of this. If he still stinks by next June, I’ll reconsider.

  88. -JimBob –

    You responded to Allentown, I was the one saying we sometimes over value guys. Not trying to say you are wrong but in reality, our guys are not all blue chippers.

    Lohse consistently gives up more hits than inns pitched, Cabrera has an off yr last yr and doesn’t do that really.

    Cabrera is also 3-4 yrs younger than Lohse and has pitched in a tough division. Pitching is a premium an Cabrera has another yr before FA. Maybe Cardenas is too much, but I think the problem here is that people think that all these players are going to be good when they aren’t. That’s all.

    Now if we aren’t talking about Bedard or CC why not a Cabrera or Arroyo?

  89. If we traded Howard, in the end the front office would either end up looking really smart or really really stupid. I hope they’d look smart.

    I’m just curious, but lets say Howard gets traded or goes on the DL… What would the phillies do to replace him? They’d have a few options, including Cardenas, Utley, Donald, Dobbs and Coste. What do you guys think would turn out the best?

    I vote a Dobbs-Donald platoon.

  90. If he’s DL’ed, I think they’d have to consider playing Burrell at 1B, but they’d likely use Dobbs there, or possibly Utley and play Bruntlett at 2B, as Utley has played some 1B the last few seasons.

    Long term, I’d move Burrell to 1B.

  91. Here is a question I don’t htink has been posed and has been a huge topic on MLB trade rumors:

    How could our packages compare to that of the Cubs, D’Backs, Yanks, and Boston for CC? Many speculate that the Indians would try an dmove him to the NL and that the

    D’Backs are long shots, but they have to be considered and CC paried with Webb, Haren, and Johnson with Owings as a #5 would be something to watch. So can our farm compete with the Cubs and Red Sox and Yanks?

    We have seen how the Yanks and Sox won’t part with their elite young guys so that’s in our favor. too.

  92. Section113, Lohse was 28 when we dealt for him last year, Cabrera is 27, no real difference between the two in that range expect that Cabrera has another year of arbitration. I just wouldn’t give up alot for Cabrera he is too inconsistent. I am not even sure he is much of an upgrade to the rotation. I really belive if we are going to part with prospects we might as well go for it and get that top of the rotation stud like Sabathia, or Bedard

  93. Would the Dbacks even make a run at CC? They already have great pitching and need some help in other areas. Between Haren, Webb, Johnson, Owings etc they probably aren’t looking to add CC…though if they did they’d clearly have the best staff in the Majors by a good margin.

    I think the Cubs or Yankees are a logical place for CC as they both have more prospects than us and the cash to do it long-term. The yankees more so than the Cubs though. Thoug hif they didn’t go for Santana why try to lock up CC (who’s a bigger injury risk due to his weight) long term.

    Boston going for him would make sense with the troubles with DiceK and the step back by Bucholtz this season. Lester is still young and goes good start/bad start/no hitter/bad start/good start…Colon is doing very well but who know’s how long he’ll stay healthy with his shoulder. Boston also has a bevy of prospects (probably some of the best in baseball) to offer. They could offer Lowry, Masterson and Crisp and still be fine pretty much.

  94. Darkhorse for CC: Tampa

    If they added him and a left-handed bat (say Griffey) they could make a real run at the postseason with their core group. Imagine a rotation of Kasmir, Shields, Sabathia, Garza in the postseason…tough to beat to say the least. A postseason run would make their lackdaisical fans give a crap too. Besides they easily have the prospects for a trade such as that.

  95. -NEPhilliesPhan-

    Olney just had a peice on that, did you see it? he also suggestst that it would get the Red Sox and Yanks involved and drive the price up.

    -JimBob-

    Ok, Lohse is in his 29 age season, Cabrera is in his 26 age season. Lohse played in the AL and NL Central for the most part. Cabrera has played in the AL East. If we cannot get a CC/Bedard type i would take him.

    Actually ideally, I would root for the Tigers this yr and hope the White Sox get knocked out by the break and go after Contreas.

  96. Really? I didn’t see it. Was it an Insider feature? It simply screams common sense considering their amount of prospects. I’ve seen the Griffey thing everywhere but nothing on CC to the Rays.

  97. I’d say Carrasco and Marson, but without them it’s doubtful you could get anything better than what you have.

    I’d trade Howard for Bedard.

  98. Wow, nice traffic today.

    First, how come we’re not talking about Michael Taylor? There is a better than average chance that Burrell will walk next year if the Phils low ball him. So I think keeping Taylor is important- it keeps another option if Golson doesn’t cut it or they need more power there.

    Also, Sam Walls represents a future closer (which we definitely don’t have anywhere in the system). I’m surprised he wasn’t mentioned, they have to keep him especially if they aren’t going to front the money for Lidge. An ERA under 1 in clearwater is worth keeping for sure.

    I would def. not trade Marson at this point- an offensive catcher with above average defense is so hard to come by, I think he’s untouchable at this point.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that they may trade Cardenas. This is especially true if they think Donald could cut it.

    And let’s move matheison while we have the chance.

    My probables in a trade:
    Jason Jaramillo
    JA Happ
    either cardenas or donald

    My unlikelies:
    Golson
    Taylor
    Cardenas

    Untouchables:
    Marson
    Carrasco
    Outman
    Walls
    savery

  99. This time of year really scares me because the Phillies always seeim to give uo soooo many prospects for guys they never retain long term. (Matt Maloney for Kyle Lohshe)
    I don’t mind them trading the prospects, they just need to have some plan to retain the players, like the Braves always seem to do.

  100. as i was saying about howard it would be insane to trade him. as far as hr per plate appearance, hr per ab gives an a much more realistic view of power numbers. thats why the greatest hitter of all times ratio 1 in 12 not 1 in 15 etc. its the same thing as not realizing that a middle relievers most important stat is inhereted runners stranded not era. and howard will not win arbitration if he wants 15 mil. but right now his hr per ab ratio is m1 in 16 and his rbi ratio is .70 both in the top 10 in bb history. as i said just bring up carrasco, outman/bastardo for relief.

  101. just a quick note at current projections holding howard will finish with 40 hrs and 123 rbis based on abs not plate app. and this is without him heating up as summer moves on. and as far as middle relievers go, theres nothing more pathetic than a starter going say 7 innings leading 3-0 putting 2 men on and having a reliever come in give up a hit scoring the 2 runners and then getting the3rd out. his era doesnt go up. one of the fallacys of pitching stats. and nobody seems to mention the chemistry of the team.

  102. Ruiz could be a trade chip or Jaramillo, as Marson should be kept and possibly promoted. Marson is a must keep.

    Outman, Carrasco, Savery should be kept, however entertaining a trade of 1 of them is possible with Outman likely to stay as the near major league ready lefty this team could use. Clay Condrey being left out barring injury.

    I believe Donald and Carrasco should be held onto as they could be ML ready soon (Donald the first). This could enable a trade of Howard to DH land in Cleveland, etc… Utley moves to 1st with Donald at second. However I would not do this during this season as this team has good chemistry right now despite Howards struggles. Otherwise someone needs to learn to play 3rd base.

    So basically no to Marson, but open up for the other catchers we have.
    No to all but 1 of our top pitchers
    No to our 2B men.
    Yes to Golson and our 2nd rate prospects.

  103. First, let’s remind ourselves that this is not Strat-o-Matic; the Phils are not trading Ryan Howard in-season under any foreseeable circumstances.

    (I do think it’s possible they explore dealing him next winter, to the Dodgers, Angels or Yankees–all of whom could afford him and all of whom have the young talent to make it worth the Phillies’ while to ask. They’ve got other possibilities–re-sign Burrell to play first, move Utley to first and prepare Cardenas to take 2b in 2010, see if a Coste/Dobbs platoon can render enough production to make a big play for an Adam Dunn in LF, sign Dunn to play 1b, etc.)

    The in-season targets are probably Bedard, Cook and Sabathia, in my order of preference. Marson is my only untouchable. If Cardenas or Carrasco went, he’d be the only top-tier prospect (meaning guys like Jaramillo, Berry and Castro still could go with him). Absent those two, I wouldn’t trade more than two out of Naylor, Outman, Garcia, Bastardo, Savery, Golson, Brown, Donald, D’Arnaud, Mattair and Taylor.

  104. I agree completely. Marston is our only untouchable, and Carrasco should not be traded for a in season rental. If he was included in a trade for Bedard at least there are 1.5 years of Bedard left.

    Anyone else would have to involve signing that pitcher to as long a term deal as the Phillies would accept (my impression is that is 4 years).

    I think Burnett and Wolf are the most likely catches, although Bedard is very intriguing he is much like Hamels
    on the minor injury front: he has never pitched a full year.

  105. Nice to see we have a list of a dozen prospects with a pulse.

    Soon to be a dozen and a half when Short Season opens.

  106. Please, no Randy Wolf!! If we get a pitcher, it has to be a clear upgrade to what we have now.

  107. The Rockies GM has emphatically stated as of yesterday that Aaron Cook is NOT on the market. The same can probably be said of Bedard. Seattle aint trading him.

  108. Marson and Cardenas are the only two untouchable prospects. A package with Carrasco as the the headliner followed by a mixture of Savery, Golson, Donald etc. could compete with the kind of offers the other contenders will be putting together. Might not land CC, but perhaps a second tier starter (Bedard, Oswalt, Burnett). No 2 month rentals though.

    Unless you really want to watch Carlos Ruiz bounce into double plays for the next 6 years, you hold onto Marson. Especially in the National League, if you could avoid having a black hole at the bottom of your order, you are already ahead of about 10 teams. Cardenas will be the key piece when they decide what to do with Howard. Howard is still a threat in the middle, but you cannot hit fourth in this lineup and strike out 250 times a year (as hits 2 hrs and drives in 5!). You are going to see Utley get pitched around with one out pretty soon, with managers playing for a strikeout behind him. In the neighborhood of 150 million and 6-8 years, that money can be spent elsewhere. Does Utley then move to first?? Its an interesting situation, but you need Cardenas in the system to have the option.

  109. First off, I’m not trading Howard right now unless you got value akin to the old Herschel Walker football trade. They should wait until the end of the year and assess the situation. If they do have to trade him, it would be just nuts to let him go for anything but a huge package of very talented prospects and young players. I would be reluctant to trade him to the Red Sox, if only because I think the Sox would fleece the Phillies. There are several other teams, however, who could offer interesting packages, including, I suspect, the Yankees and the Dodgers (Matt Kemp and others). Believe it or not, I think the Rays could be part of that discussion – they have lots of young talent and getting Howard could put them over the top and they’ve certainly got young talent to offer in return.

    By the way, unless it’s the only available option, I’m not moving Utley to first until he simply can’t play second base. It’s just common sense. Power hitting first basemen are common (that’s why we can sit around talking about a Ryan Howard trade). So, we can find someone to play first and hit the ball out of the park. Second basemen who hit like Utley are a once a generation or, at best, once a decade phenomenon. In essence, what I am saying is that Utley is so far ahead of the normal replacement value for a second baseman, that I think it’s crazy to mess with what we have absent extraordinary circumstances.

  110. Catch 22 brings up a good point…Utley has not only improved as a hitter, but he has made leaps and bounds as far as his defense is considered, and I would agree it would be easier to find a replacement for 1B then it would to move Utley there and have a need for a 2B.

  111. Looks like the Phils have no plans for Donald, Marson and Golson except sending them to the Olympics according to the Reading Eagle:

    Reading Phillies Jason Donald, Greg Golson and Lou Marson are on a preliminary list of players being considered for the United States’ Olympic baseball team, which begins play in Beijing Aug. 13.

    Specific information is tough to come by at this point, but the field of candidates is expected to be cut to 60 by the end of this month, with the final roster being named in mid-July.

    Players on a major league club’s 25-man roster are not eligible for the team, but Philadelphia Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said the club would be excited to see any of its top prospects selected for the team.

    “It’s a great experience for most of these players to be in that kind of an environment,” Arbuckle said.

    The only reason the Phillies would ask a player not to go is if the big club had immediate plans for him. That isn’t the case with the Reading trio.

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