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Surprises in the future for Phillies

Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels are just two big names that could be leaving Philly this Getty Images

There’s always surprises during the off-season and the Phillies have already experienced one. A.J. Burnett walked away from a guaranteed $12.75 million to pitch for the Phillies next season.

Sure, it wouldn’t be surprising if Burnett retires but nearly $13 million is a staggering amount to walk away from, especially after posting some of the worst numbers in baseball.

According to his agent, Burnett, who led all of MLB in losses (18), walks (96) and earned runs allowed (109) hopes to sign with a contender next season. Good luck with that.

But what will the next surprise be? The biggest one would be a Ryan Howard trade.

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“I’ll believe it when I’ll see it,” a NL scout said. “Who would take on that deal?”

The next surprise would be Howard’s release?

“I can’t see that either since they would have to eat $60 million and he would DH for an AL club, essentially for free,” a NL scout said. “It would be beyond a Yankee move to eat that much money.”

Don’t bet on a trade of Jonathan Papelbon. Too much money owed to a bad guy in the clubhouse, who is a decent, hardly great pitcher.A deal involving Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins would take the fan base aback since both have full no-trade clauses. “I love playing here,” Rollins said at the end of the season. Utley is apparently also fond of the only organization he ever knew.

Even though Ruben Amaro stated that no one is untouchable, it would be a huge surprise if the general manager had the cajones to deal Cole Hamels.

“That would be a huge risk,” a NL scout said. “If it’s a repeat of the Cliff Lee deal (in which the Phillies received three players, who failed to make an impact in the MLB), then that sets that franchise way back. Who wouldn’t want Hamels? But would a team truly give up enough for him?”

It would raise quite a few eyebrows if the Phillies signed an impact free agent, with the exception of Yasmani Tomas, who desperately need a young outfield bat with pop or perhaps Ervin Santana, who would make for a solid number three starter.

It would be a surprise if Darin Ruf is mentioned in plans for 2015. Amaro recently stated how the youth movement includes Ben Revere, and even offensively challenged Freddy Galvis and Domonic Brown, who failed miserably as a starter last season.

“The Phillies certainly have a lot to figure out for 2015,” a NL scout said. “They’re just getting started. It will be interesting what they do.”

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