Phillies Expressed Interest In Joba Chamberlain?

WEDNESDAY, 1:27pm: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the Phillies are not among the clubs pursuing Chamberlain.

TUESDAY, 9:05am: The Phillies are amenable to trading infielder Michael Young and have expressed interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz may be available as well, since the 34-year-old is a free agent after the season.  He'd make sense for the Yankees, one of few contenders with a clear need behind the plate.

So what's getting in the way of a deal?  The Phillies' status as a team on the bubble is one factor, as they have three weeks remaining until the trade deadline to pull closer than their current 7.5 games out.  Lack of interest from the Yankees seems to be another — GM Brian Cashman's interest "has been lukewarm at best," writes Feinsand.     

The Chamberlain-Young-Ruiz trade scenario only makes sense if the Phillies are looking for a way to dump Young's salary, as Feinsand suggests, and/or if they also receive a prospect in return.  Otherwise, renting Chamberlain in his contract year only makes sense for the Phillies if they're making a push toward contention.  That's the general problem with the idea of Chamberlain and Phil Hughes as trade chips for the Yankees: non-contenders have little need for players in contract years.  A contender-to-contender deal could work; for example, the Braves were reportedly interested in Chamberlain earlier this month.

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