It is that time of year in Major League Baseball. The only thing that garners more attention than the MLB All-Star game in July is the trade deadline at the end of the month. Who is buying and who is selling? The same question is posed every season usually with a different answer. For the first time in a long time it looks like the Philadelphia Phillies might actually be sellers this season. Even people close to the team are suggesting that the “final five” might end their time together at last.
The Final Five are the five players left over from the Phillies World Series run several years ago. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are the five that make up the group. While the names might bring to mind a ton of teams that would be interested, you might be surprised to hear that the Phillies have actually waited too late to make this move.
Utley is still very good in and out of the clubhouse and attractive to other teams. He is also very well liked in Philadelphia however and that leads the GM to not want to move him. The fact is that he won’t want to resign him in the off-season so there is no reason not to move him now. He already cannot move Hamels because he is to be the veteran centerpiece of the future starting rotation. Howard is a liability now to many people as he continues not to produce. Just a few years ago he would have brought back a load of prospects in return where now very few want him. Ruiz is solid but in his mid-thirties now and few teams would want to add salary for a back-up catcher midway to 40.
Just a couple or few years ago they could have decided to rebuild and sent these guys elsewhere for a load of return. They could have probably already been back on the winning road. Now, as they continue to wait, the Phillies might end up in a situation where it takes several years to rebuild from the organization up. Here is hoping not but I think they have waited too late to see a big return from any trade.