What does a replacement level team look like? With Ryan Howard or Darin Ruf at first, someone at second, Freddy Galvis at short, Cody Asche at third, Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, maybe a Rule V pick in the outfield, Cameron Rupp catching, and a rotation of Jerome Williams, David Buchanan, and some guys, we may find out.
If the Phillies do trade Carlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley, and Cole Hamels, how many games does the team lose? They may not trade all of them, but it's looking more like they will if they can. If I'm Chase Utley looking at that lineup, I think about waiving my 10-5 rights. We're left with a busted Cliff Lee, a Jonathan Papelbon, a pretty good young bullpen, and a whole lotta ugly games.
Is it crazy to think this is going to be a 100 loss season? I have not sat down to do any math, but hoo-boy, this lineup could stink on ice. The team lost 89 games in 2014, and Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo are already out. That puts the team into the low nineties of losses. Subtract Byrd, Utley, Chooch, and Hamels, and the Phillies are easily into 100 loss territory.
Those players have not all been traded. That would mitigate the disaster that awaits S.S. Phillies in 2015, but not much. They'd be maybe a 90 loss team instead. That's not much better. There's no sense to me in half-tracking a tank.
I can't wait for the cheap seats come May, but I sure as hell am not buying tickets at face value in the preseason.
Don't over think this at first. Vote, then think it through in the comments.