Players will change hands in August, but the path to a deal is trickier. Last year, the names moved included established big leaguers like Alex Rios, Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau, David DeJesus, Kurt Suzuki, Michael Morse, and John Axford.
The Phillies have fielded a good bit of criticism from those (myself included) who feel that the team has lacked a strategy for divesting themselves of some aging veterans and beginning to move the club forward. But, it is equally clear that the team should have ample opportunity to put together deals over the coming month. Though the players available to be brought back in return could potentially be somewhat limited by the August trade rules, that is less of a barrier for the younger talent that Philly will likely pursue. And perhaps the team will find itself with a bit more leverage relative to the rest of the market since it still holds all its chips (and since injuries or other developments can always intervene to increase need).
Philadelphia has reportedly already sought waivers on essentially all of the veterans that it could consider dealing. It seems likely that most will clear waivers completely, and even those that might not (e.g., Cole Hamels) could be claimed by teams that would be interested in realistically discussing a trade. Even after his injury took Cliff Lee out of the running, the club has plenty of pieces that would be great adds for contenders — if they can navigate the tricky vesting clauses, buyouts, and no-trade provisions that lie within many players’ contracts.
I thought it would be interesting to gauge the sentiment of MLBTR readers as to how active embattled Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will be in the weeks to come. Will he surprise everyone and aggressively move several players? Or continue to hold onto his veterans unless he is overwhelmed by an offer?
Your options for filling out the poll (honor system applies!):
1) Select “No Player Will Be Traded”
— OR —
2) Select One Or More Player(s) Who You Think Are Likely To Be Traded