Jayson Stark's Rumblings and Grumblings column today was mostly about how players feel about stiffening penalties for PED use in baseball. This is a worthy read, just for that. But below the extensive discussion on PEDs are Stark's usual "Rumblings and Grumblings" from around Major League Baseball and the Phillies are mentioned.
According to Stark, the Phillies are interested in sending some young players to the San Diego Padres in exchange for reliever Luke Gregorson and an outfielder:
An executive who speaks frequently with the Phillies' brass says the Phillies and Padres have "talked a lot" about a potential deal that could send reliever Luke Gregerson and an outfielder to Philadelphia for a package of young players. But the Phillies appear to be poking around for deals that wouldn't require them to give up any of their most advanced prospects.
While the Phillies may not be full-scale buyers, a trade with the Padres could make sense - not just for now, but for later.
Gregerson is a decent reliever who could help fill the Phillies' eighth inning need. Gregerson has a 2.98 ERA and 13 holds alongside four blown saves. (Note: the "blown save" can happen in the eighth inning should he give up a lead, not just in the ninth inning). Gregerson is right-handed and would be an upgrade over everyone in the Phillies' bullpen.
The Phillies will face some competition in getting Gregerson's services. The Detroit Tigers are also reportedly interested in Gregerson. Gregerson avoided arbitration this season and worked out a one-year deal with San Diego but has another season left of arbitration before he will be a free agent. That means he would be a Phillie next season as well, which of course would be beneficial to the Phillies.
Which outfielder would be coming to the Phillies? Here are a couple options:
Chris Denofria - Denorfria is 31 years old right now. If the Phillies acquired Denorfria he would be a temporary center fielder/ extra outfielder headed into next season. Starting a lot due to injuries in the Padres' outfield, he is hitting .264 with seven home runs and 29 RBI.
Carlos Quentin - Quentin would have to mean the end of Delmon Young. He is right-handed, a corner outfielder, and has some power. The Phillies had interest in Quentin before. He is signed through 2015. He is right-handed and could bat fifth behind Ryan Howard (or Domonic Brown, provided Brown is ever allowed to bat cleanup). The left-handed-heavy Phillies could use someone like Quentin.
I do not think Will Veneble would be that player since he is left-handed. That would leave the Phillies with an all-lefty outfield with Brown and Ben Revere, to go with lefties Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and potentially Cody Asche next year. Veneble is a nice defensive player in center field, though.
Who would the Phillies give up? I would bet money that Phillippe Aumont heads out in any reliever deal. The Phillies appear very frustrated with Aumont, and he does have really high potential if a coaching staff can work things out with him.
Cesar Hernandez could head out of town in a trade. If the Phillies are serious about signing Chase Utley (or actually do) then there is no room in town for Hernandez. I would really hate to see him go, though. Cody Asche could head out too in the right deal. If the Phillies really do plan to clog up the infield with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard for years to come, then they might as well convert some of their many minor leaguers with potential into positions they can use.
Starters such as Ethan Martin or Seth Rosin could head out in a trade. I think Adam Morgan will stay, but cannot be ruled out if the return is for someone signficant.
Consider Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco off limits.
Thanks to John Stolins @FelskeFiles who brought the column to my attention.