An interview with Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel over last weekend’s series in Pittsburgh told a lot about the Phillies plans for the trade deadline this year.
When asked if the Phillies were actively seeking out deals at this year’s trade deadline Amaro was more than honest saying, “We've talked to several clubs on a many different fronts, not just addressing that particular issue. We've talked to a lot of clubs about some other possibilities, too. We've been pretty pro-active. Again, trades are not easy and acquiring players are not easy. Again, we have to assess what our needs are going to be two or three weeks from now, too. Because we're going to get (Placido) Polanco back. The prognosis on him is pretty good. We should get him back in two or three weeks. The fact that Chase(Utley) is going to get his stitches out in a couple weeks and in five weeks he'll be doing mobilization stuff ... while it's going to be a while and it's going to be a big blow to us, the way the guys have played so far, we may have a totally different need come July 31 than adding a piece in the infield.”
So that’s an honest evaluation at how the Phillies are approaching the possibility of adding some key players at the trade deadline. Can the Phillies land Cliff Lee again? This is very possible as the Mariners are struggling though Lee is standing tall by himself. It will be up to the Mariners to make a deal for him, and a possible trade of Jason Werth and JA Happ or Kyle Kendrick may just be the deal maker that makes something like that happen. Domonic Brown is in the AAA, and he may even be on the block as well, as Amaro emptied the minors of all the Phillies prospects last year when he chased Roy Halladay.
When asked if there was room for more salary, Amaro just answered, “Yes.” What does that mean, I doubt the Phillies want to go much higher than they are right now on salary, but you never know.
Charlie Manuel expressed his concern about pitching over the infield in an interview. Rightly so, with the pitching staff struggling in the first half of the year. The Phillies are still in this though, and as usual they are just a puzzle piece or two away from turning it all around in my opinion.
When asked, Amaro answered, “Yes”, on the possibility of moving a player or players on the 25 man roster but who would this be? Here’s some of FightinPhillies.com best guesses:
- Jason Werth, the outfielder wants to test the unrestricted free agent market at the end of the season, why not get someone good for him now?
- Raul Ibanez, I don’t see any team wanting the huge salary of Ibanez now, I think he may be struck in the Phillies pinstripes for his whole contract
- JA Happ, the Phillies never really jumped on board with Happ completely, I think he remains trade bait along with our next candidate for trade
- Kyle Kendrick, he may benefit from a trade by the Phillies, may end up a dependable starter somewhere
- Shane Victorino, a long shot for a trade and fan favorite, but not impossible. Victorino is a proud Phillies player, but could he entice a team like the Mariners to give up Lee?