“If you think that you are close to the ultimate prize and you’re one piece away then your appetite for giving up something big to acquire that piece is pretty substantial,” Phils president Andy MacPhail said. “If you’re a team like we are now – we’re in the postseason if the season ended today, but what if we’re in a one-game playoff? It’s hard for us to make the judgment now that we’re one trade away from the World Series. We don’t believe that. I don’t believe that. So, as a result, you’re going to have to be more judicious with your playing talent.”

By Sam Bush

If the Phillies’ absentee president — he lives in Baltimore and just as easily could have Skyped in yesterday — need translation, it is this:

We’re not going to be players at the trade deadline!

MacPhail’s comments certainly won’t excite the fan base.

The Phils, who came back from the All-Star break in third place in the NL East after a six-week free-fall from first place, have significant holes.

Their starting pitching staff features one consistently reliable arm, Aaron Nola. They could use bullpen help and a bat. It will be tough to fix all of that at one trade deadline.

A good showing in the next seven games after the break could push management to consider reasonable upgrades.

“Our ownership has been pretty clear and they’ve demonstrated by their actions that salary is not something that is going to be – it has to make some sense, but that’s not going to be something that’s going to hold us back,” MacPhail said. “I think from my standpoint, I’m going to be more judicious. We win seven in a row on this homestand, I might feel differently, (but) given our current circumstances, I think I’m going to be a little judicious and careful about what talent’s walking out the door.”

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