Philadelphia Phillies: Grading the Phillies’ Trade Deadline Deals

July 31, 2012 by Evan Vogel  
Filed under Fan News

Last year at the trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies were 68-39, six games up in the NL East. This season, the Phils are just 45-57, 16.5 games out in the NL East and 13 games out in the wild-card race.

Needless to say, with the payroll over $174 million, second to the New York Yankees in MLB, expectations were high.

They have not come close to meeting those expectations.

There were several rumors going around, including the potential trade of veteran starters Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, but Ruben Amaro, Jr. held his cards, hoping to rebuild with his powerful rotation for the 2013 season.

With the deadline came a couple of major trades for Philadelphia. The club was able to acquire some talented young players to build around, while opening up the outfield for young players like Domonic Brown and John Mayberry, Jr.

Let's take a look at how the Phillies fared on Tuesday.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Hunter Pence Shipped to the San Francisco Giants: Analyzing the Deal

July 31, 2012 by Nick Weldon  
Filed under Fan News

Hunter Pence did not expect the news he received early Tuesday afternoon as he was preparing to face the Washington Nationals later that night.  He was no longer a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, who had just traded him across the country to the San Francisco Giants.

Pence described himself as "very surprised," adding that he did not see the deal coming.

"I didn't really hear rumors. I talked to the media maybe one time, so really it just kind of happened, so I'm on to play for San Fran and hopefully in a playoff race" (from Philly.com).

The deal will most likely come as a shock not only just to Pence, but also the majority of Phillies fans.

As John Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported, the Giants will send two prospects to the Phils, along with current major-league outfielder Nate Schierhotlz.

The prospects are C/1B Tommy Joseph from Double-A Richmond and right-hander Seth Rosin from High-A San Jose.

While Baseball America ranked Joseph as the Giants' No. 2 prospect entering this season, Rosin did not appear on the top 10 list.

After the haul the Houston Astros received last year from the Phillies for Pence, fans have to be wondering if this deal was worth it.

Pence, after all, was the youngest starter on the Phillies' everyday roster and has an additional year of salary arbitration. It seemed like he was one of the few players management would definitely hold onto as the trade deadline approached today.

Schierholtz can clearly not replace the production that Pence provided, and Joseph is blocked from entering the big leagues for at least a few years by Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard.

What then, do the Phillies actually gain from this deal?

At the moment, only salary relief. Pence, currently due the remainder of $10.4 million salary, is scheduled for a raise in this offseason, most likely bringing his total cost to around $14 to $15 million.

Apparently the Phillies, now facing the luxury tax due to the mega-signing of Cole Hamels, were very interested in trimming salary from the payroll. It is somewhat of a shocking move for a team that has steadily increased its payroll over the last decade. Perhaps it should serve as a reminder that the Phillies are not the New York Yankees in that they do not share the same financial flexibility.

Is it possible the team dealt Pence with the idea of inking an outfielder during the upcoming free agency period to a long-term deal. Free agent outfielders this season include Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino and BJ Upton.

The only player seemingly better than Pence is Hamilton, though he is already 31 years old. It is hard to compare Bourn and Pence, as they are completely different types of players.  However, perhaps Bourn, as a pure contact hitter and base stealer, is the player the Phillies' lineup most desperately needs.

Bourn will most likely command a large contract, and not be much cheaper than Pence.

Until the Phillies reveal their future plans this December, it is hard to be anything but frustrated with this deal.  With general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. battling for his job next year, hopefully the front office leader has something up his sleeve.

If not, the Phillies just dealt away a young, productive starter for nothing more than a salary dump.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Grading the Team’s Deadline Moves

July 31, 2012 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

The 2012 trade deadline has come to pass. For the Philadelphia Phillies, though, it could have gone better.

At roughly noon Eastern time today, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino in exchange for reliever Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Ethan Martin. Then, about two hours later, the San Francisco Giants made a trade that nabbed Hunter Pence from the Phillies for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and minor league starting pitcher Seth Rosin.

It was thought that Joe Blanton could be traded today as well, but a deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell through. Blanton remains on the team for now, as he could be a trade candidate in August through the waiver trade system.

In the meantime, the Phillies have called up Domonic Brown and have activated Brian Schneider off the DL to take the roster spots of Victorino and Pence. But with the returns the Phillies received in exchange for their All-Star outfielders, did the Phillies strike gold or did they find fool's gold instead?

Let's take a look at the two deals:

 

Los Angeles Dodgers Receive Victorino, Phillies Get Lindblom and Martin in Return

The Phillies traded away their defensive star center fielder Shane Victorino for Lindblom and Martin. Victorino's time in Philadelphia was overall spectacular, as he was named to two All-Star teams and won three consecutive Gold Gloves from 2008-2010. He hit .277 as a Phillies with 88 home runs and posted a .776 OPS.

In Lindblom, the Phillies get a somewhat-steady reliever. He's got a 3.02 ERA this year and 1.26 WHIP, but away from Dodger Stadium his ERA this year is 5.32 and his WHIP is 1.46. At least he's under team control through 2017.

 

As for Martin, the Phillies surprisingly acquired a pitching prospect in addition to Lindblom for Victorino, so that in itself is a bonus. Martin was ranked as the 17th best prospect in the Dodgers' system heading into 2011, and while he could project as a number two starter, relief work may be the best opportunity for him in the bigs.

Victorino was traded for what I think was a low price given his track record, but also given his apparent market of only being available for relievers, the Phillies did pretty well. They don't have to eat any of his remaining salary and they get both a reliever under control for years to come and a prospect who could work his way through the system. Not bad.

Victorino Trade Grade: B

 

Now let's take a look at the Pence deal.

 

San Francisco Giants Acquire Pence, Trade Joseph, Schierholtz and Rosin to Phillies

Of Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton, I least expected Pence to be dealt. Despite Pence being the most expensive of the three, he is under team control through next year and even though his salary will go up once more, he's one of the Phillies' younger pieces and hits better than Victorino. Sure enough, it was Blanton who gets to stick around...for now.

Anyway, the Phillies saw the Pence deal headlined by catching prospect Tommy Joseph, the Giants' second-best prospect. Joseph has tons of power and his game calling skills were considered second only to Giants catcher Buster Posey in their system. He's also significantly improved his defense and has a very strong arm. Because of this, he's expected to stick as a catcher. He'll be starting in Double-A now that Phillies catching prospect Sebastian Valle has been promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

 

In adddition, the Phillies got Nate Schierholtz, a utility outfielder who can hit for solid average and isn't bad defensively. Schierholtz asked to be dealt, so his inclusion in the trade is more like a favor for him and a move the Phillies needed to make for the interim now that Pence's right field spot is vacant. He'll be a free agent after the 2014 season.

Then there's Rosin. Not considered a top prospect, he ranks as the Giants' fourth-best right-handed minor league starting pitcher. At High-A San Jose this year, Rosin has pitched to a 2-1 record with a 4.31 ERA, 68 Ks and a 1.19 WHIP. Although Baseball America has him listed as a starter, Rosin's spent more time working out of the bullpen this year.

While Pence's trade didn't come as a surprise nor did his destination, the return that the Phillies received for him is appalling. Pence was worth more to the Phillies and has more overall value than a top prospect and two throw-ins. I get that Ruben Amaro, Jr. wanted to shed Pence's salary, but now that he's also chipping in some money to San Francisco, it defeats the purpose. Trading Pence is fine. But for this package? It very well may have been worth keeping him.

Pence Trade Grade: D

What do you think of the two trades? Who should have been dealt? Should Victorino and/or Pence have been retained? Leave your opinions in the comments section below.

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Tommy Joseph: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt for Hunter Pence

July 31, 2012 by Alex Hall  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies became sellers in a big way right before the MLB trade deadline, dealing outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence in the same day. While losing these veterans is tough, Philly needs to get acquainted with the new players brought over, especially Tommy Joseph.

As MLB.com reporter Jake Kaplan announced via Twitter, Pence has been sent to San Francisco in exchange for several names including a top catching prospect in Joseph.

It's not exactly like getting Buster Posey from San Fran, but it could be down the road. Right before the 2009 MLB draft, ESPN lead baseball analyst Keith Law called Joseph "one of the top prep catchers in this year's draft class and probably the top draft-eligible high school hitter in the state of Arizona."

That's the kind of scouting report that make fans breathe easier after losing a big star. Joseph has been called "one of the best power-hitting prospects in the league," albeit by his Richmond Flying Squirrels hitting coach Ken Joyce.

While Joseph did kill some of the excitement that surrounded his name back in 2009 when he posted a .236 batting average in his first minor league season, he knows how to hit the long ball.

The newest member of the Phillies' farm system recorded 16 home runs for Single-A Augusta and followed that season up with 22 in High-A San Jose. The biggest change from 2010 to 2011 though for Joseph was the much-discussed batting average.

He hiked the less-than-great .236 from his first year to .270 even after moving up to more challenging competition. While 2012 has seen a slight dip down to a .260 average with Double-A Richmond, the Eastern League tends to be more of a pitcher-friendly league.

As of now, the Flying Squirrels have just two batters with over a .300 average and the league as a whole only has 10 batters over that mark.

Joseph has the tools to come up through the Phillies' farm system and become a fine catcher for the team while providing some of the pop the lineup has lost with the departures of Pence and Victorino.

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Cliff Lee for Justin Upton Blockbuster Would Change Everything for Phillies

July 31, 2012 by Zachary D. Rymer  
Filed under Fan News

The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies are a shining testament to the fact that nothing ever goes according to plan in baseball. 

It was widely expected that the Phillies would be well on their way to a sixth straight NL East title by now. Instead, they find themselves in last place in the NL East at the trade deadline.

That's not a shock in retrospect. The Phillies had to play roughly half the season without both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Roy Halladay finally broke down. Cliff Lee has struggled. Their bullpen has struggled. The list of problems goes on and on.

For the first time in a long time, the Phillies find themselves selling at the deadline instead of buying. Shane Victorino has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and others have reported that Hunter Pence has been traded to the San Francisco Giants. Joe Blanton could go next. Ty Wigginton might also be sent packing.

And now the unthinkable, Cliff Lee might also join the fire sale.

Being traded at the deadline would be nothing new for Lee, and it would make a ton of sense for a Phillies team that needs to dump a lot of payroll after signing Cole Hamels to a $144 million extension.

There aren't many teams who can trade for Lee. The Texas Rangers are a fit, but the New York Yankees don't have the financial wiggle room to take on Lee's contract, the Boston Red Sox don't want to deal their top prospects and the Dodgers don't have top prospects to deal.

That leaves...the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Apparently, yes. 

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com dropped a surprise report on Tuesday claiming that the Diamondbacks were looking to land a "premier starting pitcher" at the deadline. It wasn't clear who they were trying to land, but the two names Rosenthal floated as possibilities were Felix Hernandez and Mr. Lee.

Between the two of them, Lee is far more available. He's also without a doubt the best starting pitcher on the trade market. To that end, this rumor has some legs.

The Phillies would no doubt prefer to keep Lee, as they could easily contend in 2013 with a starting rotation featuring Halladay, Lee and Hamels. Indications are that they're only going to deal Lee for a young, star-caliber player who's going to be around for years to come.

You know, somebody like Justin Upton.

Rosenthal's report claims that the Phillies and Diamondbacks have discussed a Lee-for-Upton swap. Naturally, those negotiations are "unconfirmed," and there's no denying the obvious financial obstacles that would exist even if the Diamondbacks and Phillies agreed to such a swap.

Lee's contract has $75 million remaining on it after this season through 2015, with a vesting option for 2016 worth $27.5 million. Per USA Today, Arizona's entire payroll for this season is right around $75 million. They're clearly not a club that can afford to take on what's left of Lee's deal.

The Phillies would have to eat some of Lee's contract in order to deal him to the Diamondbacks. A lot of it, in fact, and that's problematic seeing as how the organization's primary goal right now is to save money. 

So maybe this is all nonsense. And if you believe Bob Nightengale of USA Today, it is:

Also, Rosenthal found out that the Diamondbacks are one of the teams on Lee's no-trade list, and it's no secret that he loves it in Philadelphia.

Yeah, it's complicated. 

That's why it's very, very, very hard to believe that an Upton-for-Lee swap will actually get done before Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. ET trade deadline. There are too many variables beyond the players themselves to take into account, and those variables can't be addressed in a matter of hours.

That's why these two clubs would be better off trying to get this deal done during the offseason. They'll have more time on their hands to figure things out, and it helps that there will be a little bit less money owed to Lee with the 2012 season over and done with.

It would still be a complicated deal to put together, to be sure, but it wouldn't be impossible because an Upton-for-Lee swap is a trade that makes sense for both clubs.

The Diamondbacks want an ace pitcher exactly because they need an ace pitcher. They have plenty of talented youngsters at their disposal and solid starters in Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill, but no true ace. If they want to hang with the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West in the immediate future, it's in their interest to go out and acquire a pitcher who can match up with Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain.

The Diamondbacks have also made it fairly clear that they're no longer interested in a long-term relationship with Upton. He's young and he's talented, but his regression this season isn't sitting well with the organization and there have been rumblings of bad blood between him and the powers that be.

Nightengale wrote a few weeks ago that it's just a matter of time before Upton is dealt, and the idea still doesn't sound unreasonable. The organization is no longer in love with him, and Upton himself clearly needs a change of scenery.

As for the Phillies, it's hard to imagine them getting a better player than Upton in a Lee trade. He makes sense for them for a lot of reasons.

Citizens Bank Park may as well be custom-designed for a player like Upton. He's got loads of raw power, especially to the left side of the field. The Phillies' home park just so happens to have one of the most hitter-friendly left fields in the major leagues, and the park's deep center field fence opens up gaps not unlike the ones that Upton is used to seeing at Chase Field.

And with Pence supposedly out of the picture, the Phillies need a long-term answer in right field. They won't be able to do any better than Upton.

For starters, Upton is young. He's 24 now, and is going to turn 25 in late August. And though he's made two All-Star teams and finished in the top five in the NL MVP voting, Upton has yet to reach his prime. The best is yet to come, and that's a scary thought seeing as how Upton already has a career OPS of .833 and 99 home runs to his name in just five-plus seasons.

Just as important as Upton's youth is his contract, which is very team-friendly. He signed a six-year contract worth $50 million that keeps him under control through the 2015 season. His salary will max out at $14.5 million in 2015, and that's the kind of money the Phillies would have had to pay Pence had they chosen to extend him.

Upton is a better player than Pence, make no mistake about that. He also has considerably more upside. 

The other thing that can be said about Upton that can't be said about Pence is this: Upton is a player the Phillies could build around. Given the current state of the organization, they should be looking for a player like that.

Utley is old and literally on his last legs. He's probably gone after the 2013 season, the final year of his contract. Howard, the other key component of Philly's lineup all these years, is also getting older and  less effective as a hitter. Same goes for Jimmy Rollins, and Carlos Ruiz has hit a peak this year that he won't hit again as he progresses into his mid-30s.

What the Phillies need is a new superstar, a cornerstone player that they can wrap a quality team around. If they do that, they'll be able to continue chasing championships. They need an "out with the old, in with the new" transition, and it's in their interest to make sure this transition appeals to their massive fanbase.

If they swing Lee for Upton, not a single Phillies fan would complain.

And that, my friends, would be a first.

 

If you want to talk baseball, hit me up on Twitter.

Follow zachrymer on Twitter

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Hunter Pence: Philadelphia Phillies Trade Outfielder to San Francisco Giants

July 31, 2012 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies' fire sale continues.

After trading Shane Victorino just over an hour ago to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants have countered with a move of their own, acquiring Hunter Pence from the Phillies.

Pence, who the Phillies acquired at last year's deadline for prospects Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid and Domingo Santana, was outstanding for the Phillies last season, hitting well over .300 with 11 home runs in his two months with the team. After hitting 17 so far this year and posting a .271 batting average with 59 RBI. He's struggled at times both offensively and defensively this year, but as a former All-Star, Pence is still a great right-handed hitting outfielder, which is exactly what the Giants needed.

In return, the Phillies will get catching prospect Tommy Joseph and likely other prospects, though no other players coming to Philadelphia have been named yet if there are any.

Joseph, the Giants' number two prospect entering the season according to Baseball America, is said to have great game-calling skills and has tremendously improved his ball-blocking skills and overall defense. His throwing arm is very accurate and offensively he's an excellent power hitter, though he's still working on upping his average. There were once questions of his ability to remain a catcher, but they're now nonexistent. Joseph should remain as a backstop.

The Giants get the perfect piece their outfield and lineup needs. Pence will be a nice force in the middle of the lineup, and the Phillies get a pretty decent catching prospect back at the very least. Although the Phillies have Sebastian Valle in the minors, he's hasn't made the progress the Phillies were hoping he would have made by now.

Check back here for updates on the Pence deal as they come around.

1:30 p.m. EDT UPDATE: The deal isn't done just yet. Per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:

 

— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2012

So it's not just physicals that needs to be completed. Alright. Well, whether a deal happens or not, stay tuned.

2:00 p.m. EDT UPDATE: Pence has officially been dealt to the Giants. The Phillies will receive Joseph, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin in return. The Phillies will also send over some salary relief to the Giants.

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Report: Phillies Trade Victorino and Pence, Take Cliff Lee off Trade Market

July 31, 2012 by Garrett Baker  
Filed under Fan News

The selling has begun for the Philadelphia Phillies. Today is MLB's trade deadline, which officially ends at 4 pm ET, and Ruben Amaro, Jr., has swung two deals to clear up cap space and replenish the farm system.

The first trade sends outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Phillies get Ethan Martin and Josh Lindblom.

Martin was a highly-regarded prospect in the Dodgers organization. The right-handed pitcher is 23 years old and could be in the majors by next season. Lindblom was a top-10 prospect in the Dodgers system. He's a reliever, which the Phillies sorely need, so it looks like Amaro, Jr., did well on this deal.

Pence was apparently dealt very soon after the Victorino trade was finalized. Pence has reportedly been sent to the San Francisco Giants, who gives them a big boost on offense.

In exchange for Pence, the Phillies receive Nate Schierholtz and Tommy Joseph. Schierholtz is a decent MLB outfielder, but Joseph is the real key part of the deal. Joseph listed as a 1B/C, was San Francisco's second best prospect.  

The moves are interesting, sending two good outfielders to rival NL West teams. But Amaro, Jr., is probably not done today either. Cliff Lee could be on the move, and Juan Pierre will almost certainly be dealt. Joe Blanton has also been linked to the Baltimore Orioles

Stay tuned as more action should occur over the next few hours.  

UPDATE: ESPN is reporting that the Phillies have taken Cliff Lee off of the trade market. The Texas Rangers had been rumored as a possible destination for Lee, but the Phillies reportedly wanted too much in return.  

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Shane Victorino to Dodgers: Trade Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction

July 31, 2012 by Rob Goldberg  
Filed under Fan News

After a disappointing season, the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to part ways with a key piece to their five-year run atop the NL East by trading Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! reported the trade and says that the Phillies will get reliever Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Ethan Martin in the deal.

 

 

Victorino has been relatively steady this season, but the team as a whole has simply disappeared. 

Philadelphia enters the day with a record of 45-57, good for 16.5 games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are in the middle of a playoff race and can use all the offensive help they can get.

 

Twitter Reaction

The overall reaction from Philadelphia is not positive, as Victorino was a beloved member of the organization and the fans are sad to see him leave. 

A typical fan shows her emotion.

 

 

Joel Sherman, columnist at the New York Post, puts his career in perspective.

 

 

Matt Swartz of FanGraphs mathematically put a monetary figure of the All-Star's worth during his time with the team.

 

 

However, Howard Eskin of NBC Philadelphia does not seem to mind watching the outfielder leave town.

 

 

As far as the trade itself, New York Yankees beat writer Rob Abruzzese believes the Dodgers overpaid compared to the deal for Ichiro.

 

 

 

Grade: A for both teams

For the Dodgers, the team adds a top-of-the-order hitter that can actually get on base, unlike Dee Gordon. Victorino is a threat to steal a base at any time and will improve the lineup immediately. 

Los Angeles enters the day second to last in the National League in slugging percentage and 10th in runs scored. The team needs to find a way to manufacture runs, and Victorino can do that as well as anyone in the game, regardless of his current numbers.

The Phillies did not want to break up the team, but they really had no choice. They were spending too much money on the roster and would not be able to afford re-signing Victorino after the season anyway.

In return, they get a solid prospect in Ethan Martin that could enter the rotation in the next couple of years.

They also get a valuable reliever that will be under team control for a while. Considering the bullpen has the fourth-worst ERA in the majors, any addition will help.

 

What Comes Next?

The Phillies will likely continue moving other pieces of their team, while the Dodgers now look to acquire starting pitching, possibly Ryan Dempster.

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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Shane Victorino to Los Angeles Dodgers

July 31, 2012 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

With roughly four hours remaining until the trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies have just sent center fielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and starting pitching prospect Ethan Martin, according to USA Today

Victorino, 31, was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Rule 5 pick before the 2005 season. During his time in Philadelphia, Victorino amassed three Gold Gloves and made two All-Star Game appearances. He's got a .277 career batting average with 88 home runs and a .776 OPS and will likely play left field for the Dodgers.

The 25-year-old Lindblom is in the midst of his first full major league season, though he made 27 appearances last year. He's a good option for the Phillies as a possible set-up man or as a middle reliever. On the season, Lindblom's got a 3.02 ERA, 43 strikeouts, and a 1.26 WHIP.

Martin, a right-handed pitcher, came in ranked as the 17th-best prospect in the Dodgers' system before the season according to Baseball America. He's got the potential to be a number two starter in the major leagues, but he hasn't yet harnessed that potential. The Dodgers' first pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Martin has four pitches: a fastball that can hit as high as 98 miles per hour (mph), a curveball with bite yet it's inconsistent, a slider that sits in the 82-84 mph range, and a changeup that ranges from 84-86 mph.

The biggest issue with Martin is his mechanics. He tends to rush his delivery and can't keep his form going each time out on the mound. Consistency is his worst problem, but if he can ever get his mechanics down, everything should work out for him.

So now, the Phillies have officially begun the fire sale. Domonic Brown is on his way to Washington, D.C. for tonight's game. And the Phillies will get a reliever they hope will ease their bullpen problems, along with a pitching prospect who's still got promise. The Dodgers get a better left field option than what they currently have now, and Victorino should be able to help them make a push for an NL West division title.

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Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Value Trades for the Phils to Consider at Deadline

July 31, 2012 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

With the trade deadline just hours away, if deals are going to happen for the Philadelphia Phillies, they're going to happen today.

The thought that the Phillies will sell surely wasn't one that came into fans' minds before the season. The Phils had gone out and signed Jonathan Papelbon to give themselves a bona fide closer. They bolstered their bench by bringing in Jim Thome, Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix. The bullpen also saw Chad Qualls come to town. With a better bench and bullpen, everything should have gone according to plan. Right?

Wrong. The Phillies, with a record of 45-57, sit in dead last in the NL East by a 16.5 game margin. And after being swept by the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, the Phils' chances of making the Wild Card diminished as well, and with the sweep the Phillies sit 13 games out of the playoffs.

Simply put, all hope for a postseason run and a chance to defend their five consecutive NL East division titles has vanished. The Phillies are sellers this year, no getting around it.

Among the Phillies players on the block are Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton and possibly Cliff Lee. Some of those names will be playing for different teams come 4 p.m. tomorrow, whereas others will be remaining in Philly for the remainder of the season.

Who the Phillies ship out of town will all depend on the return the Phillies can get in said trades. They'll obviously only do what benefits them. If a trade betters the other team, fine, but if it doesn't improve the Phillies, you can bet that the trade won't get done. That's logical, of course.

A week ago I wrote a slideshow that gave trades the Phillies could make should they go into all-out sell mode. Since then, however, rumors have changed, and this slideshow will reflect the newest, updated rumors. Additionally, the slideshow will also focus on the Phillies making "value trades," or trades that will be worthwhile for the Phillies. They'll be fair to the other team as well so the deal would logically get done, but the Phillies will obviously rake the benefits, too.

Enjoy the read and the trade deadline!

*Prospect rankings are from the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which ranked teams' top prospects before the season.

Begin Slideshow

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