By: Stephen Gallo
Hey, you over there. Can you help the Phillies offense? (photo courtesy PhillySportsUnited.com)
Despite coming off last night’s awful loss, Ruben Amaro sure seems like he’s not in a rush to make any changes or additions to this Phillies team, whose offense has been sputtering for most of the season. Amaro told CSN Philly’s own Jim Salisbury the following regarding making any moves before the trade deadline:
“I don’t think we need it. Right now, I’m happy with the guys we’ve got and I’m hoping they get us to the dance. This is a good team that is not playing as good as it is.”
While we can all agree that this is a good team (after all, they do have the second best record in baseball right now behind St. Louis), their offensive struggles need to be viewed as a concern. This pitching staff is great, but can’t do it all for what is still a long way to go in the season. More and more it seems like the Phillies offense only manages five or six hits per game.
We shouldn’t get too down about this quote from Ruben though. After all, this is his usual pre-deadline quote that makes an appearance every year since he’s been around as GM when asked about making a move. We all know what usually happens next; Ruben pulls off a major trade and leaves us happy to have him in charge.
However, don’t get too excited that another big deal could happen. There are many reasons to be a little skeptical. The Phillies are lacking in major-league ready players to dangle as trade bait right now. Joe Blanton, who when healthy wasn’t a very attractive trade option for most teams, is injured and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Expect him to stick around and be the fourth starter next year.
Domonic Brown has made some solid progress since coming up to The Show in my eyes, and he’s exactly the kind of young talent that the Phils need to hold onto to help rebuild this team. Would another team be interested in Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley? Possibly. But names like those aren’t going to bring you an impact outfielder with the kind of pop that the Phillies need.
I think the biggest trade piece we have is Roy Oswalt. I would say it’s unlikely that the Phillies pick up his $16 million option for next year and he seems to be showing signs of age and digression. If another team was interested, however, Little Roy has a no trade clause and can use that to decline any trade possibilities. Don’t expect him to go anywhere.
Where does that leave us? Prospects. The Phillies would have to reach down into their minor league clubs and trade some more young prospects in order to pick up a much needed bat. I’m not so sure they’d be very willing to trade more prospects after dealing away a bunch already to acquire three aces over the past couple years.
Without knowing how Ruben could acquire them, here are a couple names to keep in the back of your mind that would be a great fit here in Philadelphia…
Hunter Pence – Astros .315 avg. 8 HR 45 RBI
Josh Willingham – A’s .234 avg. 10 HR 39 RBI
Carlos Quentin – White Sox .270 avg. 17 HR 46 RBI
Michael Cuddyer – Twins 259. avg 8 HR 29 RBI
Let’s hope Ruben can pick up one of these corner outfielders. They all have their ups and downs, but I think would be a great fit, and would give the Phillies’ offense a much needed boost.