MLB Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Potential Trade Deadline Outfield Targets

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Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Blockbuster Outfield Trade Deadline Targets

Philadelphia Phillies Rumors: Blockbuster Outfield Trade Deadline Targets
Howard Smith - USATODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies could be looking to trade to improve their outfield at the trade deadline this season. Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has been no stranger to trading since taking over the team in 2008. Based on Amaro’s history of making a blockbuster, if the Phillies are in the hunt I’d say they are an odds on favorites to make a trade.

The Phillies are outgunned in their division with against the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. Outgunned they might be, but they still have the tools to compete against the Nationals and Braves, or the other non-division foes likely to compete for the second wild card spot. Teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Cincinnati Reds (to name a few) are all in prime position to compete.

The Phillies largest, most glaring weakness on paper is their corner outfield spots. Domonic Brown looked good in spring, which means zero in the regular season but it does give the Phillies hope. The other outfield spot is there for whoever takes it. Delmon Young will start the season in right, but whether he stays there is on him.

I think it is likely that, come the trade deadline, the Phillies will be shopping for outfielders. If and when they do, here is a list of big splash candidates that may free up come the July deadline if the team they are on struggles out of the gate. These guys are all long shots, but they don't call them blockbusters for nothing, do they?

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Jacoby Ellsbury

Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

If the Boston Red Sox struggle, which they likely could (they did last year, and the AL East is still incredibly competitive), they could look to ship out the oft injured 29 year old 2011 MVP candidate.

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Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo
Jake Roth - USATODAY Sports

I know, I know, the Reds just traded for Choo for a leadoff hitter, so why would they get rid of him six months later. Well, let me paint you a picture: Johnny Cueto does not pitch like he has the last two seasons, and Joey Votto and/or Brandon Phillips get hurt. How does that $7.38 million contract look now? Palatable. Struggling teams get rid of their expiring contracts for young players, or at least they try to.

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Nelson Cruz

Joe Nicholson - USATODAY Sports

Cruz could be a free agent in 2013, and the Rangers have already shown an inclination to allow their team to get younger, and let their prized prospects develop. If the weak pitching staff falters and the Rangers find themselves behind in an increasingly competitive AL West, look for Cruz to be one of the first names broached at the deadline. Darin Ruf would fit well in Texas... Just something to think about.

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Corey Hart

Corey Hart
Steve Mitchel - USATODAY Sports

This is the most likely to actually happen out of all these, in my eyes. The Brewers are in no way a power house, and Corey Hart will likely be a free agent next year.

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Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano
Jake Roth - USATODAY Sports

There was a rumor during the offseason that the Cubs would part with Soriano for Domonic Brown, and eat a ton of his huge ($18M) contract. The longer the Cubs suck the lower the price goes, as well as the motivation to dump the steady (though not terrific) veteran.

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Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham
Rick Osentoski - USATODAY Sports

Personally, I was mad that the Phillies ever let Willingham sign with the Twins in 2012. They knew they needed offense, and they had a black hole of replacement level players ready to play left. Willingham went on to have a career season, and the Twins shopped him at the deadline, but the way he was hitting at the time required a team to really wow them. That never happened, but the Twins are still in the tough AL Central, so stockpiling young talent for veterans should be a no brainer.