|This isn't happening in 2012. Sell.|
That's nice, really. It's also not going to cut it. Time to sell.
I know that a lot of people don't want to do that, but do the math. The Phillies are 42-54, meaning over the final 66 games, taking 88 wins as the benchmark to get a playoff spot, the Phillies have to go 46-20 to get in the post-season this season, maybe. That might not get it done. Perhaps 44-22 could do it too. I guess it's possible, but ask yourself how plausible it is. They just lost two of three at home to a likely playoff team. Do you feel a huge stretch run pushing them in coming on? Honestly here, not emotionally, the answer almost has to be no.
Maybe you want to give it a few more days. Fine, you can give it the next three, but even with three more wins (not likely), the math is daunting. In an ideal world, they'd be playing the Braves and Nats now, instead of the next two series, so they could gauge from the head-to-head's, but again, they're 14 out, what's a series tell you? You're 10.5 out of the second Wild Card, and you're two full series from the deadline. How much more do you need to see?
I'm ready to sell, and sell plenty. I've set up the following parameters to any trade, and how we should judge it (or do it in the first place):
- Do we want the player on the 2013 Phillies, and do we think we can actually keep them. If the answer to both is yes, then no trade. If no to either, get them out of here.
- Does the player's contract prohibit the Phillies from being able to make moves for other needed players? Is this the best use of the money. If the answer is no to the first, and yes to the second, keep that player. If it's the opposite, get them out of here.
- Does moving the player out open up a position for a younger, cheaper talent to get a shot to show they can play big league ball this year? If yes, move them.
- Is there a reasonable target to replace that player who is better than them? If yes, do it.
- Is the package of prospects filling needs and worth the player? If yes, then do it. If no, maybe not, but not necessarily. Remember, just because you have depth in a spot (say pitching), doesn't mean you shouldn't take more. If the first four criteria are met for the trade, and the talent is premium, you still make it, even if it's not filling an immediate hole. That's trade bait to fill other holes.