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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Center Fielder Shane Victorino to Los Angeles Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies have finally traded the one player that most baseball experts claimed they were most likely to trade before the trade deadline ends at 4 pm.

Center fielder Shane Victorino has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and minor league relief pitcher Ethan Martin, as well as either a player to be named later or cash.

The move was inevitable for Philly because Victorino was scheduled to become a free agent following the 2012 season, and the team was not prepared to offer him a multi-year contract extension with an average annual salary in the double figure millions.

Besides, the Phillies desperately need their team to get younger (and better), and signing a 31-year old outfielder to a long-term contract extension would do just the opposite. The Phillies already have dished out long contracts to four players over 30 in recent years: first baseman Ryan Howard received a five-year, $125 million extension before 2011, shortstop Jimmy Rollins received a three-year, $33 million extension before the 2012 season, starting pitcher Cliff Lee received a five-year, $120 million contract before the 2011 season, and closer Jonathan Papelbon received a four-year, $50 million deal before the 2012 season.

This season, Victorino was batting .261 with nine home runs, 40 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases in a Phillies uniform. The former Rule 5 draft pick batted .279 with 88 home runs, 390 RBIs, and 179 stolen bases in his eight years in Philadelphia.

He had originally been drafted by the Dodgers in the 1999 MLB draft.

Lindblom, the reliever the Phillies acquired, is just 25 years old, and has been a great reliever during his two seasons in the major leagues. This season, he is 2-2 with a 3.02 earned run average in 47.2 innings. For his career, he is 3-2 with a 2.91 earned run average in 77.1 innings. He averages close to a strikeout per nine innings and doesn’t give up a lot of home runs.

Martin is an above average Double-A starter who has a chance to reach the Phillies’ major league rotation in a few years. The 23-year old righty is 8-6 with a 3.58 earned run average and 112 strikeouts and just 89 hits allowed in 118 innings.

The deal is likely not the first for the Phillies before the end of the trade deadline. The move will help the Dodgers in their race with the San Francisco Giants for the NL West division race. Outfield had been their biggest weakness and Victorino should make an immediate impact.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.