Humor me for a minute. Most of this is rambling thoughts attempting to be coherent analysis.
It's extremely easy to get frustrated with Ruben Amaro and the Phillies right now. A few weeks into free agency we've seen two deals a year longer and a few bucks more than we'd like for two players over the age of 35. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers got out from under Prince Fielders contract, Few if any of the big name free agents out there are linked to the Phillies, and it looks like the starting line up might already be set.
But the frustration for most fans doesn't lie in anything other than the reality that they want this team to compete, they want them to win, and they want to feel like they did going into 2011.
You can scream from the rooftops all day long that if they're not going to win, you want them to rebuild and get younger but in reality, how can they do that?
Seriously. Someone lay that scenario out for me. Because I don't see it. And I don't see it for the following reasons:
- The team has approximately $70,000,000 committed to Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, and Mike Adams. Utley and Rollins both have 10/5 rights, Rollins won't accept a trade, and Utley just signed an extension. Ryan Howard is unmovable without eating so much money that moving him would be counterproductive, Papelbon is overpaid, regressing and likely has very little trade value right now due to a dearth of closers on the open market. Mike Adams might not pitch again this season.
- The two high paid players on the roster that DO have some value (Hamels and Lee) also have some trade protection, and would need to command a kings ransom via trade and you still have to replace both of them in the rotation.
- The rest of the trade-able assets, Dom Brown, Ben Revere, Cody Asche, Darin Ruf, etc.. on the expected 25 man roster are all the kinds of young controllable talent you rebuild around, not the kind you trade away.
And you hope that the core gives you enough to be in it at the deadline. And if they do, you shore up your weaknesses with the money you didn't spend on Shin Soo Choo or Ervin Santana.
- Younger high end players, or high end players between 29-33 years old who command high dollars and longer deals
- Players coming off injuries or down seasons, looking for one year deals to reestablish value
- Older players who have had good seasons, who are willing to take shorter deals.
- Mid tier free agents who make market value.