|Picture by Richard Wilkins Jr.|
After last night's 9-3 loss in Boston to the Red Sox, the Phillies are a 24-27 team. While we're going to hear a lot about selling at the deadline, and we're going to hear the name Cliff Lee dropped a lot, I think that would be a stupid move. This franchise is way too well-off now to accept a 65 win season next year, and having Lee and Hamels means the Phillies at least go into the off-season with something good. With that in mind, a great, great package could change my mind, but will you get that while moving his next two year's worth of guaranteed money? Probably not.
Which moves me to this- we're still about a month to two months away from pulling the trigger on a sale. That's a month or two to observe the play of Cody Asche and Cesar Hernandez, not to mention Darin Ruf or Tommy Joseph. If you asked me what I'd want to move (besides Papelbon, who though I like, would be nice to not pay, and to get something for.), I would say anyone in the infield. I think Rollins still has some value, even if not as much as he once did, so I'd be fine with moving his money. Utley and Chooch have declining values with each injury, but moving them might get you something (even if just savings), and will make it easier to not re-sign them. Michael Young isn't his old self, but I guess he may get you something, and why not make a spot for Galvis at the least? As far as Howard goes, I'd take a guess that if a team would take anywhere near half his salary and give any kind of package at all, the Phillies would pack his bags, but that won't happen. I would be fine with moving any or all of these infielders though at the deadline, if for no other reason than to see what we have coming. If it's not going to cut it, then we'll have to go in other directions. The Phillies have some time to make evaluations, but given the reality of this organization, they have the rest of this year to make these calls. If this team falls totally out of it, it's time to move out these aging core infielders, and see what we have. I'd also probably make Howard go get his knee cleaned out given his unproductive play, and the presence of Darin Ruf, but that's just me.