Apparently GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. doesn’t have much faith that the Philadelphia Phillies will turn their miserable season around. He told reporters today that there’s a good chance the Phillies could be sellers come July.
Traditionally, the Phillies have been buyers in July, trading for the rights to players such as Hunter Pence, J.C. Romero, Kyle Lohse, and Joe Blanton in recent years. The Phillies are just 14-18 and mired in last place in the NL East, the first time the club has been four games under .500 since May 2007. The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are putting up a strong fight for supremacy in the division, and the New York Mets and Miami Marlins are both over .500.
The logical players the Phillies could dangle as trade bait would likely be Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, and Joe Blanton. All three of those players are free agents after the 2012 season, and if the Phillies don’t re-sign them, they could lose them in free agency anyway.
Hamels will be a hot commodity in free agency, as he’s a 28-year old lefty who has stayed relatively healthy throughout his big league career. He has a World Series ring and he is a top 10 pitcher in the game. Victorino is a five-tool outfielder who will command a large deal once the offseason hits, and he’s stellar on both offense and defense. Blanton is an underrated starter who could be an ace on some teams; he strikes out a high percentage of hitters, doesn’t walk many, and gives a team 180-210 innings.