The talk has been whether or not the Phillies should be buyers or sellers. We've already seen what all of the buying has produced for the Phillies, they really can't go out there and keep buying, so if they do happen to want to buy, they most assuredly will be moving some big portion of salary to make that happen.
The Phillies took another step towards the opposite scenario this afternoon in New York, after they ran into the red hot Matt Harvey and the New York Mets and we're shut out by a score of 5-0.
The Phils couldn't get anything started against Harvey, while the Mets took Cliff Lee over the fence for 3 HR and a total of 5 R all of them earned for Lee as the Phils took a step back under .500 for the season on what has become a see-saw with them teetering back and forth around the middle of wins and losses.
Is this a team that Phillies ownership should be bullish about? In this writer's opinion, they shouldn't. However, if there were a key few moves pulled off by this ballclub, there could be a lot of excitement to follow.
Lets look at what the Phillies need:
- A solid center fielder with some power
- A bullpen that is stronger
- A move to a slightly younger team
- A veteran or two that is near the end of their contract or not performing up to the millions of dollars that a player is getting
- A potential stud in Domonic Brown, and his star probably has never been higher
- Ryan Howard or Roy Halladay : they are both on the DL but don't appear to be paying all of the dividends that the team has hoped for
Cliff Lee has stated that he wants to be on a 'winning' ballclub. I am not too sure that he isn't getting bored in Philly now with all of the mediocre play that has been happening here for the last couple seasons. Yes, he's getting paid millions to play the game, but he lusts for a championship and that dream isn't getting realized here in Philly. His kids and family are a little older now too since he's professed his love for Philadelphia, maybe this is the time for him to move on.
Say the Phillies wanted to move Cliff Lee, then who would they want to go out and get? Their signing of Mike Adams has been a complete failure, the guy was damaged goods and nobody picked that fact up, and now Adams stands to make millions from this team for doing nothing. If this kind of transaction happened in private business, all involved in making this million dollar flop would be fired. I am wondering how much more Phillies ownership can stand by watching these types of deals being made.
To move Cliff Lee, you would ideally want as much as you could get for him. Lee is still a pitcher in his prime, an ace of a staff and that doesn't happen all that easy. Make a package deal for him. Here's an example, trade Lee to Boston and have them send Shane Victorino and reliever/closer Koji Uehara in return for him. This move would possibly make Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon available to be moved and then you would place Uehara in the role of Phillies closer and move Papelbon to another team for either a decent middle reliever or a combination of players that will make an impact.
Chase Utley could be moved, and he is a player that is in the final year of his contract that the Phillies have paid him. Chase has made a great lifetime salary of over $85M from the Phillies already over his playing career. He is still playing at a high level, and could be a good player that the Phillies could be getting a lot in return for him.
Jimmy Rollins has been a great Phillies player over the years, his contract was recently extended by the Phillies but the Phils have a player or two that could jump in and possibly make an impact on this team and the Phillies could possibly be getting a good player in exchange for him.
The key in moving any great player on the Phillies would be to get something in return that would be of great benefit to the team, not simply as last year seemed to be the dumping of two somewhat good players and getting nothing in return for them.