I’m still trying to piece together the latest Phillies buzz. Phils fans and stadium employees have been emailing me the last couple of days, telling me that the local word is that the David Dellucci trade is a precursor to something bigger. I haven’t been able to verify with any of my sources that anything is afoot.
One scenario is that Dellucci was acquired only because Phils GM Pat Gillick has concerns about Pat Burrell’s health. Said Will Carroll today:
"Pat Burrell is worrying the Phillies. His left foot problem is starting to cascade, leading to a left calf problem that some scouts think might be a knee injury. Given the David Dellucci trade, the Phillies now have a solid backup.
Some are speculating that this is prelude to some kind of Bobby Abreu trade, but looking back at some of Pat Gillick’s moves, you can see that he likes to hedge his bets with injuries and team depth. While my best Phillies source tells me that Burrell’s leg problems aren’t major, Gillick’s move should keep everyone on alert and watching closely."
Buster Olney, on the other hand, speculated yesterday that the Dellucci trade is part of a complicated series of moves:
"Phillies GM Pat Gillick knows Dellucci from his days as GM of the Orioles, and I don’t think he’d be picking him up knowing that David would only be pinch-hitter type. There’s more mad scientist in Gillick than any general manager I’ve covered; he always thinking two or three moves ahead, and he won’t always tell you what he’s doing. You have to think, on the face of it, that the acquisition of Dellucci is merely the first domino to fall."
Maybe you’d prefer to just listen to Gillick himself, who said today that the deal doesn’t have any mysterious implications of future moves. I don’t know. But I see a team that could catapult to the front of the NL East with one above average starter in place of Gavin Floyd/Ryan Franklin. My best guess is that the Phils stand pat until both of those guys prove they can’t provide league average innings. We already know Franklin can’t, so the decision will rest on Floyd. Randy Wolf has said he wants to make ten starts this year, so maybe he’s that guy.