After reading what beat writers have to say about the Phils chances of even grabbing a WC spot (hint, not good), lets assume what direction ownership could decide to take to improve for the future. Jump!!!!
Lee, with his no trade clause, is best fitted for Texas. The Rangers wanted Cole but Cliff could suit them just as well. They are desperate for an elite SP. Texas is luckily one of the 8 teams Cliff can't block, so that is one obstacle diverted. Next the prospects. One word, OLT. Texas GM Jon Daniels has to know that like many teams the Phils are choppin' at the bits for the power hitting 3B. In my opinion, Olt is the only piece that is important. Any other players could be filler. Stick him in Lehigh Valley for the rest of the year, maybe a Sept. call-up, then give him a shot in spring training next March. Most deals like this require the Phils to pony up some dollars. Hopefully RAJ wouldn't give them too much. This could give Tyler Cloyd an audition for the spring. Done.
Pence. Love his hustle and trying to do his best. How many eye-high fastballs does it take to lay off of them? His year here was entertaining (let's go eat), but he has more value in a trade. With a year of arb. left at about $14-$15 MM he should net 2 top ten prospects from a contender. Possibly a SP and OF. Considering what the Phils gave up for Pence last year, the return this year for him would not come close.
The rest of the trade chips: Victorino, Blanton, Pierre
If Vic lands a decent young MLB RH RP without paying much if any of Vic's salary, sold. He could come back in the winter (probably not). Blanton has growing trade value right now. Sell high. He could get the team a top ten prospect if advertised correctly. If Pierre is worth any half decent prospect, it's a done deal.
Moving Pence and Lee is drastic, but necessary. The Phils need to get younger. Contenders this year are going to get eager and pay. The next six days should be exciting!