After suffering through an eight-game losing streak, the fate of the Phillies is apparent. The Phillies are exactly where they were last season just before the trade deadline The team is far behind the Atlanta Braves and Ruben Amaro has little alternative but to sell.
Who will the Phillies trade? Say goodbye to Michael Young.
"There are so many teams that could use his righthanded bat," a NL scout said. "It's just a matter of when Young will be traded and to what team."
It gets more interesting after Young. The Phillies would be wise to trade Jonathan Papelbon. A losing team can't afford a luxury as an elite closer. However, the issue with Papelbon is that he makes a great deal of money and he has lost velocity on his fastball. He has also blown 5-of-25 save opportunities. It doesn't help that Papelbon is also a prickly character, who isn't exactly a positive clubhouse presence. During the lost weekend in Detroit, Papelbon didn't exactly endear himself to the organization.
"I would like to stay here. But if I'm going to have to put up with this year after year, then no, i don't want to be here. Why would you? Why would anybody?"
If you add up Papelbon's contract, declining velocity and his warm personality, the odds are that he will continue to close for the Phillies.
The Phillies are reportedly working on a contract extension with Chase Utley, which makes sense if the deal is team friendly. So Utley figures to stay and the same can be said for Cliff Lee. The left-handed ace has a limited no-trade clause, a high salary and the Phillies can't replicate the deal they made with the Seattle Mariners in which Lee was dealt for three prospects, who have yet to pan out. If Lee isn't dealt for top prospects and MLB-ready players, it would hurt the team and it would be a PR disaster.
Count on Jimmy Rollins staying. The chances of J-Roll waiving his no-trade clause are about the same as the odds of the Phillies making the playoffs.
And then there is Carlos Ruiz. Unless a contender wants a solid defender behind the plate, the odds are that Chooch stays since he has been oft-injured and has been lost offensively. Ruiz only has four extra base hits and has yet to homer.