Year after year, the Philadelphia Phillies start talking around the end of June about how they are willing to trade some big names at the non-tender MLB trade deadline. It seems that every season the same thing happens. They offer Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and others only to set their price way too high for anyone to actually bite on the deal.
Do not be surprised if the exact same thing happens this season. There are several reasons for this and the GM Ruben Amaro is actually not doing anything wrong in setting his price high.
First things first, almost every single one of their star players have big contracts that teams generally have a problem just assuming. That means that teams want the Phillies generally to take on a lot of the contract. They aren’t always willing to do that which is perfectly understandable. At the same time, why would they want to trade those big names without getting something big in return?
Each of the players available is on top of his game in one way or another. It seems that Amaro is almost shrugging as he sets the price. If a team is willing to give up top prospects and take a lot or all of the salary, well sure they might can have the deal.
Even at that, most of the available players have either partial or complete no trade clauses. It doesn’t make a deal impossible but it does mean that the Phillies are unlikely to part with anyone unless they make out like bandits on the deal. Who can blame them?