What the Phillies Should Do

Overview

The Phillies currently sit six games over .500 and three-and-a-half back of the Atlanta Braves. The New York Mets hold a two-game lead over the Phillies for the wild card position, although the Phillies are also behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers at this point. With Chase Utley and Placido Polanco both out for at least the next two weeks, and with Utley probably missing additional time after undergoing surgery, it might behoove the Phillies to look for at least one replacement infielder, as opposed to fielding Wilson Valdez and Greg Dobbs during a pennant chase.

Buy or Sell?

This is pretty clearly a buy situation, particularly on cheap-ish third base and second base options. That makes names like Kelly Johnson and Jose Lopez potential fits; although neither is quite Chase Utley.

The rotation features only two pitchers with xFIP under 4.5, with Joe Blanton being the trailer (4.96 xFIP). Given the money being paid to Blanton, though, it seems unlikely he’ll be moved to the bullpen. I won’t make the reference to a certain dominant AL starting pitcher, but you have to wonder how different this team would look right now with his presence.

Most Phillies fans would probably love to move Raul Ibanez’s contract, but again, that just seems unlikely. And unless there’s some blockbuster on the horizon, a Jayson Werth deal probably isn’t happening, no matter how quickly it would make the trade market so much more interesting.

On The Farm

Domonic Brown is the Phillies’ top prospect and perhaps the most untouchable player on the farm given Werth’s pending free agency and Ibanez’s pending trip to the glue factory. Phillippe Aumont, Juan Ramirez, and Tyson Gillies were acquired from Seattle in the off-season and are amongst the top 10 prospects. They have a dearth of middle infield prospects, which partially explains why their replacements for Utley and Polanco border on replacement level ballplayers.

Budget

The Phils’ payroll is already at an all-time high, just shy of $140 million. Nobody outside of the organization is quite sure what the roof on potential spending is, but it’s hard to imagine the Phillies rejecting a trade based purely on funds.




Print This Post





25 Responses to “What the Phillies Should Do”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. I think, over the All Star Break, Charlie Manuel should cripple as many stars of the other NL teams as possible (and, while difficult, perhaps as many AL stars, as well).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Anon21 says:

    This is the second time in the last week or so that you guys have made a mistake about the current standings in the lead paragraph. The Phillies are 4 over .500, 5 behind the Braves in the East, and 3 back in the wild card. I realize these things are drafted in advance, but is it so hard to do a quick read-through before posting it?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      False. The Phillies just beat the Braves today to reach 43-38.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon21 says:

        True when I wrote it, prior to the conclusion of last night’s game. Whereas the article’s description of the standings hasn’t been correct in a week or so.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • J.G. says:

        Do you realize how time consuming it would be to constantly be shepardizing posts to keep them fresh? Especially given the volume of material on Fangraphs?

        Unless you’re willing to pay someone to do it, don’t complain. FG provides the best material on the net and its all for free.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon21 says:

        It’s hardly shepardizing. It’s checking readily available information before you put the post up. For a post like this, it would probably take less than 20 seconds of “research” and another 10 updating the totals.

        It’s not like this invalidates the Fangraphs experience or anything, but there’s no particular reason to make such readily-avoidable errors, either.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. CircleChange11 says:

    JA Happ is to return this month, isn’t he?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The A Team says:

      Yes he’s about ready now from a health standpoint, but he’s performed very poorly in his rehab stints.

      The replacements for Polanco and Utley don’t border on replacement level, they border on absolute zero level. As in a team of all Juan Castro’s, Wilson Valdez’s, and Dane Sardinha’s could be expected to win 0-5 games. At least Brian Bocock’s been exorcised from the roster.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bflaff says:

      Maybe not. His results after one month of rehab starts are so bad that the team is reportedly considering the possibility of optioning him back to the minors until he sorts himself out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bob says:

        His last start his velocity was way up which is the best news. His first 3 innings were perfect until he lost his command in the 4th.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. AB says:

    FWIW Valdez has performed reasonably well (legitimately good MLB defensive SS), and Sardinha has performed extremely well. A quick, cheap (prospect wise) boost like a Miguel Tejada to hold over 3B until Polanco is back, and allowing him to shift back to 2B after that would be nice though

    And Blanton shaved his xFIP down to 4.73 after he blew the Pirates game (yipee)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bflaff says:

      Yeah, but those scrubs turn pumpkin pretty quickly. Juan Castro seemed like he was punching above his weight for a while, too.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Bob says:

    The Phillies wont be making a big splash. Its just not really possible. The farm just showed signs of bouncing back.

    Tejada and Lilly make sense because they will take the contracts thus not having to give up close to anything to the Orioles or Cubs. Maybe Triple A outfielder John Mayberry or reliever Scott Mathieson.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Homer Simpson says:

    Ibáñez better start hitting or we’re taking a trip to the glue factory and he won’t get to come.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. fightin phil says:

    Clearly the most important need was not even covered…

    They need to extend the Ryan Howard contract as he will only be 37 after the option year and if they can tack on another 3-4 years right away they may be able to get a hometown discount.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Omar says:

    The trade they need to make is with the Leigh High Valley IronPigs and that’s Ross Gload for Domonic Brown. Raul Ibanez is a replacement level player and while I’m sure that Domonic Brown won’t be a star immediately like other call ups I’m confident that he can be at least average. It’s awfully lulzy that they are also trying to trade for Cliff Lee again, since they’re considering trading Jayson Werth I wouldn’t be shocked if they let him walk to give Domonic Brown, rather than just eating the Raul Ibanez contract.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BX says:

      They’re going to probably let Werth walk anyway, just because they’ve committed a bazillion dollars to Ryan Howard and giving Werth a big contract brings their payroll flexibility down to zero.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Steve Craeshard says:

    With Werth as a potential moving piece, would the Phillies consider moving him for a proven super utility guy like Jerry Hairston Jr. combined with RP Mike Adams from the Padres. Hairston Jr. & Adams contracts both run out at the end of this year and both are extremely solid players who (what the Phillies should be looking for) can be immediate impact players in the bullpen and in the infield while Polanco and Utley are down.

    It’s not that easy as you would think for the Padres. Although Adams has unofficially been on the trade block for some time, he has been a huge part of one of the best pens in baseball, and Hairston Jr, has come up huge in place of often injured SS Cabrerra. Hairston Jr.is the Padres only utility INF and their AAA (Zawadski) is not impressive, while their AA guy (Antonelli) is not expected for another 2-3 weeks. This could leave them in nice size dilemma if Cabrerra or Ekstein goes down and the team has traded away a more than capable back up in Hairston Jr.

    Similar to Seattle wanting more for Cliff Lee, the Phillies are going to get contending teams like the Yankees (and Padres) who will say no to trading top young talent for a 2-3 month rental of a guy who they could either sign in the off season (Yankees) or not be in the running to sign him at all (Padres), because….well because they are the Padres.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Knox says:

      My first thougth was no this woud never happen, (trading Werth for the Padres bench piecies) then I rememberd Amaro is the GM and a) he does not like draft picks b) thinks he is smarter than everyone else c)really likes older players in their 30s…so I’d say now there is a an outside chance of them trading Werth for a poo poo platter.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • zoltek says:

      um… yeah trade the only big right handed bat in the lineup for a utility player and a bullpen arm. That would make everyone real happy.

      IF Werth were to get traded, i personally think he’s going to be resigned, it would be to a contender for a good prospect, and they would try and flip that prospect for something worth while.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The A Team says:

      Heath Bell has another arbitration year remaining if I’m not mistaken.

      And yes that is quite the poo poo platter for Werth and yet it looks similar to something Amaro might accept in different times. I think the idea of shopping Werth comes down to “can we add Cliff Lee/Dan Haren (and maybe a left over prospect) by dealing Werth? It would have to be 3 teamy, but it’s not inconceivable.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. neuter_your_dogma says:

    Sell Mortimer, sell … sell.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>