Phillies Notes: Hamels, Minors, Utley, Rollins

The Phillies are guaranteed to go into the All-Star break in the NL East basement, as even a win over the first-place Nationals today will leave Philadelphia with only a 43-52 record from the opening half.  There has already been a lot of speculation about what the club’s selling plans are for the trade deadline so here’s the latest from the City of Brotherly Love…

  • While there’s certainly a case to be made for trading Cole Hamels, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer points out that moving the star lefty would leave the Phils’ rotation very thin for 2015.  Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez are free agents, A.J. Burnett could decline his player option and Cliff Lee could be traded as well, so if Hamels goes, the Phillies would have to rebuild an entire rotation around David Buchanan.
  • The Phillies’ farm system is thin on talent that can quickly help the Major League roster, and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says that hitting talent is a particular need, Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.  “There are not enough offensive players in our system,” Amaro said during an interview last week. “We feel we need to do better than that, and it certainly is something that is a priority for us.”
  • Jonathan Papelbon shouldn’t be faulted for his recent comments about not wanting to play for a non-contender, the Inquirer’s Bob Ford opines, and he wonders if Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins share the same sentiment.  The two players’ status as longtime franchise cornerstones makes their situation different than Papelbon’s, though “it would be tough to see them go, but perhaps tougher to see them stay, delaying the overdue rebuilding and eating up payroll flexibility as the team limps along,” Ford writes.

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