The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the most talked about teams heading into the trade deadline, but despite the fact that things didn’t look good for them in terms of contending, and they look worse now, they didn’t sell off any significant pieces, in an effort to build up their farm system.
If you think that’s a mistake, you’re probably right. The problems that currently plague this Phillies club are ones you could have seen coming from miles away. They sold off a whole bunch of their farm system, and spent absurd amounts of money, hoping to clinch at least one more World Series title following the one in 2008.
That didn’t happen. Instead, their age has showed, as players have not only declined, but they’ve suffered through a rash of injuries, including health problems related to marquee players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and especially Roy Halladay, who has yet to step back on the mound for the Phils since May 5th.
When healthy, the Phillies still do boast one of the better rotations in baseball. With a group headlined by the trio of Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, there’s no doubt that it’s a potent group, regardless of who you have going in the four and five spots. Which is why they should break it up this winter.
The Phillies are a team going nowhere fast. Sure, they have some pieces on the roster, but their 2014 season could look awfully similar to this one. It’s time for them to acknowledge that fact, and start to sell some of these assets, take advantage of the major haul they could get back for a guy like Lee, or even potentially Hamels if they get the right return.
The obvious one to move here is Lee. Hamels is younger and is fresh off of a contract extension. The only player that should really be untouchable is Dom Brown. Pitchers like Lee and Hamels are a premium in this league, and if they can bring back an elite prospect or two, the Phillies should absolutely considering moving them this winter.