If there are any Phillies
fans out there who are wondering what the best course of action the Phillies could take at the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is, I can assure you there is only one right answer. SELL!!! Sell any player not named Cole Hamels
or Dom Brown. Make no mistake, this is not a playoff team. Years of big free agent signings and big trades have left the Phillies with an aging team and a weak farm system. Yes, we had fun during thier 5 year run of October baseball, but now we have to accept that the party is over and face reality. The reality we have to face is this, the Phillies have very little to rebuild with from within. We have 2 prospects worth looking forward to in Jesse Biddle
and Mikael Franco, but thats it. Consider the following 1)the Braves
have several good players in the prime of thier career(Upton, Freeman, Medlen, Kimbrel, Teheran), 2) the Mets
are buliding what could be the best roation in the National League (I know we all heard this before with Generation K back in the 1990s but Matt Harvey
is for real and this Mets rotation could be different),3) the Nationals
have a good young Major League with a good farm system, and 4) the Marlins
have some very good young players on thier team right now (Fernandez, Stanton, Turner, Ozuna, Morrison)and no shortage of to prospects waiting for thier time to come (Yelich, Heany, Nicolino). This means the Phillies could conceivable go the way of the 1990s Indians
and follow thier run of dominance with a generation of teams in the basement of thier division.
This is why the Phillies have to build for the future instead of making a futile pursuit of making thie playoffs this year. They need to be be sellers, not buyers, not standing pat and they need to do this year. They must do it this year because the talent avaiable at the 2013 trade deadline is very weak and the players the Phillies could offer would be far and away the best available. Cliff Lee
is the best pitcher a contending team could hope to get. Trade him now because his trade value will never be higher. The Red Sox
could all use him and are loaded with prospects. Same goes for Papelbon, every team could use another bullpen arm and Papelbon is the best avaiable. Much like Lee he will never have more trade value than he does right now (it would be higher, but his recent string on blown saves no doubt has hurt). Michael Young
and Carlos Ruiz
will not be back next year, trade them now and get something in return for them. And it kills me to say this, but trade Utley, He's the best infielder avaiable and his future productivity is to say the least qustionable given how injury he has been. For as hard as it would be for me to see Chase in another uniform, it would be harder for me to have years of last place Phillies baseball.
This run of success has been fun. It sucks to see it end. But it does us no good to deny that the glory days are behind us. The Phillies have to realize that and do what it takes to build a strong foundation for thier future. The way to do this is to use the premium talent they have remaining to get the prospects needed to build a strong core for the future. Lets not have Charlie Manuel's go the way of Charlie Manuel's Indians and let out stars walk via free agency and have nothing to show for it in return and follow up a great run with a horrible decade.