You can learn a lot by looking at the transactions that usually appear in the back of the sports section and Philadelphia Phillies fans paying attention certainly did a couple of days ago.
Tyson Gillies, one of the prospects acquired in the first Cliff Lee deal, cleared waivers and was out-righted off the team’s 40-man roster. That’s important because, unless an unforeseen firing occurs, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. will be charged with the task of acquiring prospects for some of the veteran talent the Phillies are about to unload between now and the July 31 MLB trade deadline.
Unload they must, but if they acquire too many guys like Gillies, they will not be getting better any time, let alone soon. Gillies is nothing more than a warm body to the Phillies now, a guy who maintains his spot in Triple-A only because the Phillies have no one who can play center field on that roster. Without a doubt, though, the move signals Gillies is no longer in their plans and with good reason.
He was one of three players acquired along with Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez who the Phillies received from the Seattle Mariners in the 2009 trade that sent Lee out west. Now 25, Gillies has played no more than 75 games in each of his four years in the Phillies’ organization and is now hitting only .217 for the Iron Pigs in 37 games this season. Rest assured, once the Phillies have an outfielder they are willing to promote from Double-A Reading, Gillies will be out of the organization and maybe baseball.
That trade for prospects was a clear loss for the Phillies and has to shake the confidence that Amaro can make similar deals in the coming months. Hopefully, Amaro’s bosses are taking notes.