The reports out of the Philadelphia Phillies camp seem to change with the wind. This weekend it was suggested that the Phillies would gauge whether to sell or buy at the MLB trade deadline on how they played this week. Now that the week is half over and they have lost five straight games, the reports still do not suggest they plan to sell. I know they have players with trade protection but they should not be buyers at the deadline.
It is fully understandable that they want to improve their baseball team but buying at the trade deadline isn’t necessarily the only way to do that. The Phillies are not a bunch of young studs anymore. The team is aging and when that is allowed to happen, bad things can follow. Atlanta Braves teams of the 1980’s are a perfect example. They were winners in the early 80s but kept the core of the team together. By the end of the decade the franchise was a laughing stock.
I don’t mean to suggest that the Phillies are a bad team. I don’t think they are but another year of almost and what if could lead them further down this path. There comes a time when the older players have to move aside so that the young guys can do something. Some veterans are good for the team and its fine to keep Chase Utley around if they want. They could still add young talent by getting a couple of trades done. And yes, that too can improve the team. They could be better after selling at the deadline. Even if not, it would be best to plan for next year while hoping for this year instead of regretting this year for the next three.